Direct service to Chonqing begins

Hainan Airlines, China’s fourth largest airline, on Sunday began providing direct flights from Yangon to the south-western port city of Chongqing.

The airline is the 32nd international airline to operate in Yangon, according to a statement from the Yangon Aerodome Co Ltd (YACL).

Hainan Airlines will fly the Yangon-Chonqing route four times a week using Boeing 737-800 aircraft, which has a 156-seat capacity. It hopes to carry about 1300 passengers weekly.

“This signifies the continued growth of air links between Myanmar and China. I hope Hainan Airlines will bring more business and leisure travellers to Myanmar,” U Aung Kyaw Tun, deputy director general of the Department of Civil Aviation, said.

To attract more Chinese travellers to Myanmar, YACL – which operates Yangon International Airport (YIA) – is focused on the Chinese market.

According to the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, Myanmar has received 3.55 million international visitors in 2018, of which nearly 300,000 were Chinese.

It said the number of Chinese tourists in the country rose by 40 percent last year compared with 2017.

“Hainan Airlines has set up a new bridge between Chongqing and Yangon, and we are committed to providing the best air transport service to our customers and to facilitating communication and economic development between the two countries,” Vincent Wu, an executive of the airlines, said.

Hainan Airlines has boosted its presence in the Southeast Asia market with routes to Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Singapore, Wu said.

“Myanmar is a great place with beautiful natural scenery, a unique national culture, friendly people and huge economic potential, which is attracting more and more Chinese people for tourism and investment,” he said.

Hainan Airlines is the sixth Chinese airline to operate in Myanmar, after Air China, China Eastern, China Southern, Cathay Dragon and China Airlines.

“This new route allows Yangon International Airport to further tap into the Chinese market and opens up new possibilities for cultural and economic exchanges between Myanmar and China. We are constantly developing the airport’s connections to other destinations. We are confident in expanding into the Chinese market and have plans to reach out to other markets like (South) Korea and Japan,” Jose Angeja, the airport’s chief operating officer, said.

The airport is targeting nine international airlines – Lufthansa, KCAIR, Ruili, Lucky Air, Xiamen Air, Indi Go, Turkish, Future Planet, and Hainan – to fly direct to Myanmar.

The airport welcomed its six millionth passenger of the year on December 30.

Source: Myanmar Times

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