Korean Air to launch Yangon flights

29 Jun 2012

Korean Air has announced that it will launch a nonstop service from Seoul Incheon to Yangon, Myanmar on September 13.

The route will be served by the 138-passenger B737-800, and depart from Incheon Airport every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at 1805, arriving in Yangon at 2140 the same day. The return leg will leave Yangon at 2320, for a 0740 arrival in Seoul the next day. Flying time is about six hours.

A surge of investments and economic transformation is expected in Myanmar following the lifting of international sanctions last April. According to Abacus International, Asia’s leading revenue partner for airlines, Myanmar is currently the most underserved travel market in all of Asia. Initial forecasts indicate that traveller numbers are set to increase by 300 per cent this year compared to last, and one million tourists will have arrived by year’s end. Outbound traffic is also predicted to have increased by 100 per cent in 2012.

In order to tap into the latent potential of this destination, many airlines have been moving to service the route. This announcement from Korean Air, for example, closely follows news of China Airlines increasing frequencies to Yangon (see story here). Cathay Pacific and Qatar Airways are also reportedly exploring whether to launch flights to Myanmar this year. 

In her recent speech at the World Economic Forum in Bangkok, Myanmar’s democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi acknowledged the huge anticipated investment in Burma’s stunted infrastructure, adding that she hopes foreign firms will invest with cautioun and transparency, so the money can benefit the impoverished masses.

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Alex Andersson

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