Myanma Airway Review

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This topic contains 14 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  TominScotland 15 Nov 2013
at 15:02

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  • Anonymous


    BT. I tried to post this via Seatplans (thanks for adding Burmese airlines) but the entry for this particular carrier does not include the ATR-72 as an option and, against ‘unknown’ does not permit a choice of class – hence, impossible to post. So, here goes anyway!


    This was an interesting flight, in the best Burmese sense of the word!! It was scheduled as an ATR-72 from Yangon to Heho via Mandalay. We arrived at the airport in good time for this 07.00 flight and made our way to the manual check-in and through a fairly casual security to the domestic departures area where we had plenty of time to grab a coffee and croissant. Our flight was called a few minutes late and we were bussed out to an aircraft whose interior had certainly see better days.

    We took off, assuming we were headed to Mandalay and enjoyed our drinks and pastries service before landing at a very modern airport and parking remotely while a number of passengers disembarked. Not looking to closely, we assumed this to be Mandalay as one very modern Burmese airport structure looks very much like the next….. Announcements, I should say, were in Burmese and challenging English.

    We took off again and landed some 35 minutes later in what we assumed to be Heho – wrong, wrong – we were in Bagan where we joined 6 other ATRs in a row, all heading what we thought was back to Mandalay, which was fog bound. We speculated what the collective noun for ATRs is – can anyone help here? Last in, last out so we had to wait until all the other ATRs had departed before pushing back after a relaxed chat in the sun on the tarmac for about 45 minutes. This time it was to Mandaly where we realised that the earlier visit was, in fact, to Nay Pyi Taw. Confused? Believe me, so were we!! Having been reseated tio the friont (or, in exit terms, the back) of the aircraft, we were joined by a largish contingent of new passengers heading both to Heho and on back to Yangon.

    This time, we were really headed for Heho and the pastries service reappeared! We landed in Heho a mere 2 hours late, having spent 4.5 hours covering what should take 45 minutes on a direct routing!! In this protected part of the country, there is passport contrl even for domestic flights and we were pleased to see that our luggage had really made it all the way with us.



    “We speculated what the collective noun for ATRs is – can anyone help here?”

    A racket of ATRs 😉

    Pleased you got there eventually, what a faff.


    FormerlyDoS – I like it.

    Yes, a faff but not uncommon for Burmese domestic travel where timetables are virtually non-existent and where 6 domestic carriers offering virtually the same product compete on the same routes.

    An eyesore of ATRs?



    Another day, another domestic flight in Myanmar, this time on Myanma Airways E190 jet on the early morning flight from Yangon to Nay Pyi Taw (NPT), that surreal capaital city which is hosting the SEA Games next month.

    UA621 (no, not United although a common flight code??) is one of about half a dozen flights to ply this route at about the same time – good for government officials who have been visiting their families in Yangon as there are no facilities (schools etc) for families in NPT!! We checked in early using the antiquated manual baording pass and baggage tag system many folk will remember from the 1970s!! That it is not without problem would be proved later when one colleague’s luggage was kindly sent much further north but did turn up that evening in NPT.

    We enjoyed a coffee upstairs in the only cafe available and then boarded, as always by bus despite the short distance to the aircraft. The front 10 rows were blocked off as we were being joined on this flight by the Vice-President and his team. When the mere mortals were aboard, we waited some 15 minutes beyond scheduled departure until the VIPs arrived – and occupied the front seats. From that point on, all information and the safety briefing etc. were preceded by “Excellency, Ladies and Gentlemen” – I liked that as you can dream it is directed at you personally!!

    I was in an emergency exit row and had to point out to the cabin crew that it is not advisable to allow passengers to stow large items of baggage in this row – as they had been advised to, apparently, by same cabin crew! Not that my advice was really heeded, bags were just pushed further under the seat in front.

    Once airborne, service commenced on this 35 minute hop – starting with the front rows with their china crockery and followed by us plebs with paper cups and the standard box of pastries.

    The pilot (ex- military, I guess although the co-pilot was a lady), showed off his attack skills as we turned sharply to come into land. In the end, we arrived some 10 minutes late. We were bussed in to the magnificent terminal building where we had a fair wait before (most of) our luggage emerged.

    Comfortable enough flight, enhanced by the presence of a VIP…. maybe.


    Enjoyable tea time reading Tom….

    FDoS ….A racket of ATR’s ……Brilliant
    alexpo1……an eyesore…..mmmm

    My contribution, either A Spluttering or a SpATRing …..or maybe because whenever I have flown in a ATR I feel like I’m inside a sewing machine with wings ….”A singer of ATR’s….

    Now back to throwing out the trash…….

    Thanks Tom for your review.

    You have put Nay Pyi Taw on the map for me:

    Your trip reminds me of an Iberia flight to Rio from Madrid when it was delayed waiting for the President of Bolivia to board.

    Edited: confused by your first review? Very LOL


    And I thought all Scots still had a Rhotic accent?

    Why did you drop the “r” in “Myanmar”?


    Thanks, alexpo1. syclik5, I don’t think what happened to the “r” but that is the way it is.

    Tom Otley

    Sorry for the lack of the option, but each one of them has to be added manually in the back office, and when I’m travelling, which I am, it doesn’t get done.
    I’ll add when I have a free moment.
    thanks for your reviews


    Just took the return flight NPT – Yangon – 2.5 hours late because the aircraft had to add a couple of extra stops en route. Information was sparse – maybe an hour and a half, not enough fuel to get here and a few others. But it did come eventually and our E190 whisked us away from the joys of NPT.


    Very interesting review Tom, we are considering a side trip to Myanmar from our forthcoming trip to Thailand so very timely. Thank you.


    Fascinating place, John, just learning about tourism – silly prices at times, VERY mixed service but wonderful people with a great sense of humour. Just be patient!!

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