Passenger traffic inches up at Yangon airport

Myanmar’s biggest airport has seen a passenger increase of more than 6 percent over the last 12 months, the operator said.

The increase in passengers was a result of the addition of new routes – mainly from the Chinese market – according to Yangon Aerodrome Company, operator of Yangon International Airport.

Passenger traffic at the main aviation gateway increased to 4.60 million in the first nine months of 2019, 6.5 percent higher than 4.32 million the previous year.

In April, China Eastern Airlines is operating flights three times per week to Yangon from Hohhot (Inner Mongolia) via Kunming. In March, Sichuan Airlines launched twice-weekly flights to Yangon from Chengdu.

The airport served 2.32 million passengers in the first four months of 2019, a number that increased 4.2 percent from 2.22 million passengers in the same period last year.

With the tourism boom badly hit by the northern Rakhine crisis, the government granted visa-on-arrival arrangements for citizens from six Western countries this year, after relaxing the visas for six territories in 2018.

Tourists from Australia, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and Russia have been given visa-on-arrival access for US$50 each at Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw airports, starting this month.

Last October, tourists from Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Macau were granted visa-free entry into Myanmar, while Indian and Chinese nationals were given visas-on-arrival. These arrangements have been renewed this year.

The Department of Civil Aviation has suggested that the existing Yangon airport will reach its maximum capacity over the next four to five years. However, plans to resuscitate the long-stalled Hanthawaddy International Airport proposal – located in Bago Region – have not been successful.

Two consortia to date have walked out of negotiations with the government over the Hanthawaddy project. The Myanmar government said it plans to rely on Japanese aid funding to revive the scheme.

Source: Myanmar Times

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