New domestic airline to begin flights in March

A new domestic carrier, Apex Airlines, will be among the first in Myanmar to offer dynamic pricing when it starts flying next month, a senior company official says. Chief operations officer Selva Kumar said Apex’s first aircraft, an ATR 72-600, would arrive in Nay Pyi Taw in mid-February, with a launch planned for late March.

“A second aircraft will arrive between June and July and a third will arrive between September and October,” he told The Myanmar Times on the sidelines of the ASEAN Tourism Forum.

Apex will be based in Nay Pyi Taw, initially serving domestic destinations such as Yangon, Dawei and Myeik, and later Myitkyina, Mandalay, Bagan, Sittwe, Thandwe, Kawthoung, Heho, Kengtung and Tachileik.

The airline also plans to offer international flights using Airbus aircraft. “We are not just looking into flying to Southeast Asian nations but also South Asian destinations such as India and Bangladesh,” he said.

Pricing will change depending on demand and season, he said. While common practice internationally, fares on most existing domestic airlines are relatively stagnant, changing only between high season and low season.

Customers will also be able to book online through a computer reservation system, with booking confirmation by email and SMS.

The decision to base the airline in Nay Pyi Taw was made because facilities at the city’s airport, which opened in December 2011 and has a capacity of about 3.5 million passengers a year, are of a high standard, while Yangon is becoming increasingly crowded.

Mr Kumar said Nay Pyi Taw also had significant potential as a “MICE” destination – a term in the tourism industry for meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions. “[There] are many international and local hotels, and two big convention centres … so we are very confident about being based in Nay Pyi Taw,” he said.

Apex was incorporated as a public company in November 2012. It is chaired by Tanintharyi Region businessperson U Khin Soe, who also heads fisheries firm Anawar Hlwam, Apex Gas & Oil Public Company, Apex G&O Group Hotel and Dawei Development Public Company.

The nine existing domestic airlines are Air Mandalay, Yangon Airways, Air KBZ, Mann Yadanarpon Airlines, Air Bagan, Asian Wings Airlines, FMI Air Charter, Golden Myanmar Airlines and Myanmar National Airways.


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