Nok Air Plans To Be The First Foreign Carrier To Bagan
According to the Bangkok Post, Myanmar is asking Thailand low cost carrier Nok Air to look at more routes in Myanmar prior to the airline’s arrival in Yangon…
Nok Air is in full preparation to land soon in Myanmar. The low cost carrier will open on November 1st its first international route out of Bangkok Don Mueang Airport to Yangon. Since October 1st, its regional subsidiary Nok Mini is already flying with an ATR 72 the Mae Sot-Yangon route as well as Mae Sot-Mawlamyine, a not very far city on the other side of the border but rather inaccessible due to bad road infrastructures. It takes up to nine hours to reach Mawlamyine by car from Mae Sot while flight covers the distance in just 20 minutes!
Nok Air will first offer four weekly flights between Don Mueang and Yangon, before stepping up frequencies from December 1ST with another four weekly flights in the evening. All frequencies will become daily from January 1st, 2014.
Last week Myanmar Ambassador to Thailand Tin Win said to the Bangkok Post that it is hoping that Nok Air will open rapidly new routes, especially flights to Nay Pyi Taw – Myanmar administrative capital-, Mandalay but also Bagan. In return, Nok Air CEO Patee Sarasin indicated that they were not any expansion plans for now and that the airline would rather concentrate at consolidating its new routes.
Although competition is mounting up in Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw with AirAsia, Bangkok Airways and Thai Smile offering now flights, Nok Air should probably seize the opportunity to establish itself in Bagan. The amazing historical city with its hundreds of temples – a likely candidate for a UNESCO World Heritage listing- is handicapped by its airport which can only welcome turboprop aircraft. The 2,591 runway could theoretically welcome Airbus A321 but there is not a proper landing aid system for such an aircraft. Demand for Bagan is extremely high among travellers, especially during the high season.
In another development, Nok Air also announced to start one of its shortest routes. The carrier will open three weekly frequencies between Don Mueang and the resort city of Hua Hin. Flights will take place on Thursday, Friday and Sunday to especially accommodate golfers’ demand out of Bangkok…
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