The government is discussing with some European countries to sign aviation agreements which will pave the way to establish direct air connections between Europe and the recently-opened Southeast Asian nation, a Directorate of Civil Aviation (DCA) official said.
“Now we are discussing with Netherlands and France. Then we will continue to discuss with other countries,” U Nay Win, Director of the DCA told Myanmar Business Today.
DCA will strive to improve aviation safety, airport security and other related services to push those agreements.
Currently, there are no local direct air links between Myanmar and any European country. However, Myanmar has direct air links with China, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Bangladesh and India, among others. The Philippines also struck a direct air link agreement with Myanmar last month.
“Myanmar’s aviation industry will develop once the department signs the agreements. Local airlines will be able to expand their market and the number of airlines will also increase,” Daw Aye Mra Tha, spokesperson of the state-run carrier Myanmar Airways International (MAI) said.
Currently, there are 24 foreign airlines operating in Myanmar and most of them are operating from Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia.
Foreign tourist arrival has jumped recently amid reforms and the three international airports in the country – in Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw – have been suffering from over capacity.
The government recently selected a foreign consortium to build a $12-billion new international airport in Bago region, about 70 kilometres from Yangon.