It looks like finally the 21.century came Myanmar airlines. Domestic air travel is still operated mainly with ATR turboprop aircrafts from France. Yangon Airways and the others on domestic routes use them. Myanma Airways has some old Fokker jets to be used on the longer distance flights to Sittwe and Kawthaung plus some ancient Fokker turboprops, MIA (Myanmar Airways International) has also 2 airbus 320.
Yangon is one of Asia’s most interesting flight destinations served by several airlines. The first things to consider is your airfare, once you are in the country there are several airlines to choose for various destinations.
The country is approximately the size of France and England
combined. From the glaciers of Tibetan Himalayas off shots to the exotic Andaman Islands in the south of the country. All destinations are served by various companies who also compete each such as Yangon Air, Air Bagan, Myanma Airways and Air Mandalay.
They all use rather small aircraft such as old Fokker jets and turboprops plus ATR turboprops from France.
You can save some money when you go airline shopping once you are at Yangon and want to travel beyond. A easy approach is visit the Vegas air travel agent downtown in the Central Hotel building and opposite Bogyoke Aung San Market. They work quite efficient and have reasonable prices. In general consider about $ 100,- for each flight in average on domestic routs. For some flights you need a permission from the authorities which is usually granted but takes around 2 weeks time since the handling of this is done at the new capital at Naypyidaw.
when visiting the country, you should also keep in mind that all infrastructure is not good at all and electricity wont even work in the big cities it’s on and off continuously. Only hotels which have their own generator function 24 hour without major problems. Also the hygienic circumstances everywhere are usually hair raising unless you are in good hotel or accommodation, read more.
Here is a typical route map of a domestic carrier, in the case Yangon Air (click to enlarge) but all other have more or less the same. Considering that the country has the size of England and France together this is rather a little thing.Hopefully with the current exponential rising in tourism with will change to the positive, means much more destinations coming but since everything goes in slow motion here it might take another decade or so.
There are so many stumbling blocks which haven’t been removed yet that it’s really time for the authorities to do something to show they take this whole serious and even more important to show that they really capable of doing something beside of bla-bla.
A very urgent issue is to address the visa on arrival case, because whatever “lip serving” they do I wont work. The second most important case is to open the land border. It is still not possible to enter at Kawthaung, get a visa and proceed to Yangon. There they have the border computer system available as at the Yangon airport but they still wont allow any foreigner to cross beyond the city limits. With all this great nature spots in south Myanmar it is a real shame on the authorities that they are not capable to handle this. Just getting this bureaucratic hurdle away it would bring wealth to the country and millions of people. The question is do politicians really care about the Myanmar people, frankly it doesn’t looks so.
Myanmar airline at Yangon airport
The companies serve the ever growing demand for domestic and international flight destinations and are the backbone of tourism.
For airlines schedules, departure and arrivals go to the website of the airlines indicated above, there is no use to put timetables here since flight times are changing constantly. The best fares you get when you book through a local travel agent one is indicated above.
At the new passenger terminal at the Yangon International airport the tube is even working now since a while. Its only the second terminal of this kind in the country, the other one is in Mandalay the tube wont work there and there are continues power break downs even at the airport which has it’s own generator.
The travel agent will send you to the tourist office near Sule Pagoda
and they handle it, but this flight restrictions are rather rare, in general you can travel wherever you want but use a package tour from a good local travel agent when you go for exotic destinations such as Putao and other places in the north and north west.
The country is different to other destinations, there is almost no infrastructure outside the big cities. If you still want to do everything on your own, which you basically can, ask where is the next monastery when you get stranded, they are everywhere and offer a place to sleep, don’t forget a donation when you leave. This a common way to handle this situation.
Yangon Airport Departure Hall
Most aircrafts comes in from Bangkok Airport, Singapore Airport or Kuala Lumpur Airport, but Chinese and Indian Airlines are introducing flights continuously. Thai international Airline introduced a new flight some time ago leaving Yangon around lunchtime.Most airlines try to increased the prices continuously, especially Thai International is notorious, they and Bangkok Air already charge relatively high prices anyway and the in-flight service is lousy compared to the price, actually the Bangkok – Yangon run is one of the moth profitable for them and the Passenger get the most lousy service in return. TG is not a budget carrier they charge full prices. The going return ticket between the two cities is around Baht 9000,- for Thai International.
Gate Lounge for tube Boarding
The most trustworthy and customer friendly are MIA and Air Asia
the later is also the cheapest although they often delays, it needs to indicated that this is Thai Air Asia not the other from Malaysia.
If you want to make any flights out of Myanmar all goes through Yangon, there are no flights to lets say to Phuket Airport Thailand, only from Mandalay to Chiang Maithere seems to be a route, but it also wont work everyday, it sometimes works, it sometimes doesn’t.
This are the domestic destinations
they all fly to: Yangon, Mandalay, Bagan, Heho (Inle Lake), Kyaing Tong, Tachileik, Myitkyina, Putao, Dawei, Myeik, Kawthaung, Thandwe (Ngapali Beach), Sittwe (Mrauk U ), Pathein
Airlines serving Myanmar on domestic and international routes:Air Asia (AK), Air China (CA),
Air Bagan, Air India(IC), Air Mandalay (6T), Bangkok Airways(PG), Biman (BG), China Southern Airlines (CZ), China Eastern Airlines(MU), Druk Air(KB), Mandarin Airline(AE), Malaysia Airlines (MH),
Myanmar Airways International (8M) , Silk Air (MI), Thai Airways (TG),Yangon Airways
Check In Counter
Best flight deals,
if you come from overseas the best deal would probably be to use Thai International Airlines for the main routing and include Yangon as a additional routing sector, that means you get this sector for a very low price integrated into the basic ticket. But if you want to buy a normal ticket just between the two countries they always ask for the highest price of any operating this route.
Myanmar airlines are experiencing a real boom currently ( Mai 2013), most flights are full and it’s getting more busy by the day, new airlines, in particular from China are opening new flights.
Air travel in Myanmar, Yangon departure hall
Malaysian Airlines connects Kuala Lumpur with Yangon. Silk Air operates between Singapore and the city.
China Southern Airlines has a route from Guangzhou to Yangon, regular flights are offered three days a week — Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. bringing the total number of air links between China and the country to three. Jetstar Airline has flights between the city and Changi Airport on a code sharing base with MIA or Myanmar International Airlines.
Air China serves Beijing-Kunming- Yangon, offering three flights a week on every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.
Flights to Myanmar
China Eastern Airlines is flying between Myanmar’s Mandalay and China’s Yunnan provincial capital of Kunming at four flights a week on every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday.Avoid Silk Air, its a unpleasant encounter with arrogant people. The result is if you have a connecting flight out of Singapore with this airline nobody cares about you, even when you go to Singapore Airlines and ask for help, they just tell we have nothing to do with them – ! its the same company !- and Silk Air has no office at the Singapore airport, this is exactly the procedure happen to me.
Finally the Singapore Airline staff told me I can sleep on the floor in the transit hall if I like, does that need any more comment ‘ So stay away from this people they are a pain in the a… !! – Also the food they serve in-flight mostly looks like canned dog food, brrrrr its really disgusting.
Check In Hall
The whole road transportation between Thailand and Myanmar
is extremely cumbersome, all cargo must be reloaded at the border. Means the Thai truck carries the goods up to the Thai – Myanmar border, there everything is loaded onto a Myanmar truck to bring it to Yangon, and this happen in the 21. century, even in the 18. Century all this was more easy. Truck drivers have a hard time on this route -from the Thai border to Yangon- because there is a road block every couple of kilometer and the guys at the roadblocks milk them like cows. All other is simply not possible due to political reason and there is no car insurance system in the country which foreign cars could buy in, there is some insurance for a car but not many buy it.
Yangon Airport Photos are below and here.
Air travel within Myanmar. The first choice is Yangon Airways or Yangon Air, buy the tickets only through a agent -better price-, they are reliable, depart more or less on time, are safe and very customer oriented. There are others you might need to take to exotic destinations within the country like Myanma Airways, with them its difficult to get a ticket, they might go or maybe not etc.
Yangon international airport departure schedule