September 18, 2018
MYANMAR’s Yangon International Airport still sees enormous potential for commercial aviation in Myanmar, despite recent news of local airline startups folding.
Yangon Aerodrome Company operations director Pedro Manuel De Carvalho Cavern told ATW at the annual World Routes Development Forum in Guangzhou there are simply too many startups in the country that should be focused on “quality not quantity.”
“There is plenty of domestic market in Myanmar and there is still significant passenger growth within,” he said. Yangon airport handled 6.2 million passengers in 2017, of which 60% was international traffic.
He added that increased fuel costs are not helping local international airlines, and the airport is constantly urging them to seek new destinations. Cavern said China has also offered concessions to airlines for opening routes to various Chinese cities.
Yangon airport is speaking to around 15 airlines at World Routes 2018, including carriers from China, Japan and Thailand. Cavern revealed that German carrier Lufthansa is exploring direct flights from Frankfurt to Yangon, but nothing is firm.
Myanmar’s busiest airport is currently undergoing a major renovation at one of two international terminals and the plan is to combine three terminals, including a domestic terminal, into a single entity.
Carven said this year’s growth was slower than expected because of “differing public opinion of the country,” but he hopes the airport can reach a sustained growth of 6%-10% annually in the long run, that is comparable to most Southeast Asian hubs, and eventually handle 15-20 million passengers in 10 years.
“Yangon has huge potential and the government is attracting customers to the city. The government need to work together as a whole with various authorities to promote the city,” he added.