Privately-owned Myanmar Airways International has recently launched flight services to its fourth Indian destination, nonstop flights connecting Yangon and Chennai - the first South Indian city for the carrier, which also further boosts its international network and signals quite the progressive growth after the pandemic.
Chennai welcomes Myanmar Airways International
The inaugural flight commenced on May 6th when Myanmar Airways International flight 8M630 departed from Yangon International Airport at approximately 08:18 and touched down at Chennai International Airport at about 10:04. Operating the inaugural flight was one of the airline's 11-year-old Embraer E-190 registered XY-ALO.
Upon being welcomed on arrival with the traditional water salute, the passengers also experienced a ceremonial welcome in both airports, with flower garlands courtesy of the relevant airport authorities. Then at around 12:01, the aircraft operated as 8M631 and took off from Chennai before landing back home at approximately 15:42.
Myanmar Airways International initially plans to schedule this flight service every Saturday and will be rotating between the Airbus A319, A320, or the Embraer E190. The airline is hopeful that the route's frequency will eventually be increased once demand steadily grows, which is something it is pretty confident about since there's been consistent demand on its other three Indian routes; New Delhi, Kolkata, and Gaya.
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Improving the attractiveness of Myanmar
Since the second half of last year, Myanmar Airways has been steadily announcing and launching new routes, such as the commencement of flight services from Yangon to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh in September, Phuket in October, and Phnom Penh in November.
The start of flights to Chennai is the latest in the airline's overall strategic plan to promote Myanmar as a prime destination for not just tourists and leisure travelers but also corporate, labor, and even medical visitors. The airline is hoping that as it continues to grow its international network, passengers will also hop onto its extensive domestic network to explore the rest of what Myanmar has to offer.
Besides Yangon, the airline's domestic network also includes Puta-o, Mandalay, Thandwe, Bagan, Mongshat, Nyaung-U, and many more. This also means that the strategic plan that Myanmar has in mind is not finished, and passengers can keep their eyes peeled for announcements of additional international destinations soon.
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Currently, the private airline has four Airbus A319s, three A320s, and three Embraer E190s to service all 18 international and another 18 domestic destinations across its network. Since it doesn't seem to be held back by any capacity issues amidst the ongoing network expansion, it'll be interesting to see where Myanmar Airways plans to touch down next. Perhaps another destination in India? Only time will tell.
Source: Economic Times India