Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Direct Mandalay-Gaya flights to be launched

Wednesday, 24 October 2012 13:29 Mizzima News

Burma’s national carrier, Myanmar Airways International (MAI), will launch direct flights between Mandalay and India's Gaya city starting on Nov. 1.

Currently, passengers wanting to visit Gaya must depart from Rangoon International Airport, said a MAI official.

Mandalay International Airport Photo: Wagaung / Wikipedia

Lately, the Burmese government has been engaged in upgrading and modernizing international airports throughout the country.

In September, officials said they are seeking private sector partners to upgrade Mandalay International Airport into a logistics center, according to a report by Dow Jones.

The project involves improving and expanding the airport’s terminal building and other facilities, as well as managing its passenger and cargo operations, ground-handling and catering services, and maintenance.

Opened in 2000, the Mandalay terminal building can handle 1,000 passenger arrivals and 1000 passenger departures per hour. The capacity of the airport is estimated to be three million passengers per annum, with expansion capacity to more than 15 million.

The site occupies a total area of 25,015 acres (10,123 hectares) and is located about 21 miles (35 km) south of Mandalay.

At the same, two German companies will provide technical and financial assistance to build a new international airport at Hantharwaddy in Bago region, about 50 miles from Rangoon International Airport, according to a story on the Weekly Eleven News website on Monday.

The proposed airport will cover 3,645 hectares and will be the fourth international airport in Burma after Yangon, Mandalay and Naypyitaw.

MAI will launch direct flights from Rangoon to China's Hong Kong before the end of this year, officials said. At present, MAI flies to five countries using six Airbus A320s.

MAI is a joint venture between the state-owned Myanmar Airways and the private Royal Myanmar Transport Co.

In addition to the 64-year-old state-operated domestic Myanma Airways (MA), there are also five privately run domestic airlines in Burma: Air Mandalay, Yangon Airways, Air Bagan, Asian Wings and Air Kanbawza.

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