Myanmar pushes ahead with new carrier, airport

Asia’s recently democratized nation, Myanmar (formerly Burma), is expanding its aviation capability with a new airline and the construction of an international airport.

The new carrier, to be named Asian Blue Aviation, is joint venture (JV) between Japan’s full-service carrier All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Myanmar-based banking, infrastructure and telecoms company Golden Sky World, a subsidiary of Myanmar conglomerate Shwe Than Lwin Co.

The Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) approved the formation of the JV with 49% ANA and 51% Golden Sky World shares.

The company will have a nominal value of $70 million, and has an MIC license to operate for an initial 50-year term.

Local media reports indicate the startup will focus on both regional and international operations in a market where relatively few operators fly direct to northeast Asia from Myanmar’s international hub at Yangon.

In addition, construction of a new international airport at Hanthawaddy, Bago, is scheduled to start in late 2016. The new airport will be 49% funded by a $0.75 billion Official Development Aid loan from the Japanese government.

The airport, situated some 50 miles north of the national capital of Yangon, will cost an estimated $1.5 billion. Construction will be undertaken by a regional group of engineering companies, including Japan’s JGC Corp., Singapore’s Changi Airport and Singapore-based Yongnam Holdings. Work is scheduled to be completed by 2020.

Designed to handle up to 12 million passengers a year, the new airport will become “an international gateway and logistic hub for the region,” a Myanmar Department of Civil Aviation spokesperson said.

Source: Air Transport World

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