Yangon Mingaladon Airport
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- Domestic | International
- Airlines currently operating to this airport with scheduled services
- Air China
All Nippon Airways
Asian Wings Airways
Biman Bangladesh Airlines
China Eastern Airlines
China Southern Airlines
Golden Myanmar Airlines
Mann Yadanarpon Airlines
Myanmar Airways International
Myanmar National Airlines
- Airlines currently operating to this airport via codeshare
- Air France
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
Yangon International Airport serves the largest city and commercial centre of Burma (Myanmar), Yangon. The airport handles averages over 2 million passengers p/a, and is a hub for the four Burmese carriers Air Bagan, Air Mandalay, Myanmar National Airlines and Yangon Airways. Yangon is also served by over a dozes scheduled airlines from across East and Southeast Asia.
Location of Yangon Mingaladon Airport, Myanmar
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Few low cost airlines have had route pickings as lucrative as those of HK Express. Although its hub airport of Hong Kong has significant slot restrictions and an underwhelming business reception to LCCs, there was significant pent-up demand. This was especially the case to markets in Northeast Asia, where LCC penetration remains lower than in Southeast Asia. HK Express' relaunch as an LCC in Oct-2013 fortuitously coincided with the depreciating Japanese yen and Korean won, further boosting outbound Hong Kong travel. In Feb-2016, 43% of HK Express' seats are to just three cities: Osaka, Seoul and Tokyo.
In Feb-2016 HK Express will operate 13 A320s but plans rapid growth to 50 by the end of 2018, effectively requiring the airline to take one aircraft every month for the next three years. HK Express plans to open four to six new markets in 2016, and at the end of the year will receive its first A320neo and A321ceo. Existing markets could expect additional capacity (frequency increase or replacing A320s with A321s). But as HK Express saturates core opportunities in existing markets, it will need to grow in the more classical LCC sense of stimulating demand in destinations largely new to Hong Kong. Already it plans to open new destinations around Southeast Asia (Laos, Myanmar) and the Pacific Islands (Guam, Saipan). Sister full service airline Hong Kong Airlines also plans to serve Saipan, highlighting the growing challenge of overlap between the two airlines, which do not have a defined dual brand strategy.
Jetstar Hong Kong flies after all: although Hong Kong rejected the application of the proposed LCC in Jun-2015, much of Jetstar Hong Kong's strategy and rationale has been realised by HK Express, which is now in its third year as a LCC. HK Express is arguably having a larger impact on travel and market stimulation – and competition to Cathay Pacific – than Jetstar Hong Kong would have. HK Express launched earlier, securing a sizeable slot pool, and its positive market reception is pressuring sister full service carrier Hong Kong Airlines to be more visible and competitive.
HK Express' successful transformation and growth is also giving confidence to its HNA Group owners to deepen its experimentation with LCCs; Chongqing-based West Air has taken up the LCC platform and others will follow – including on long haul flights. A strengthening HNA Group, across full service and low cost spectrums, will pressure Cathay in ways Jetstar Hong Kong would not have been able.
Growth in Myanmar’s international market is starting to slow significantly and will likely end 2015 in the single digits, ending a streak of five consecutive years of at least 20% growth. Not a single foreign airline has launched services to Myanmar over the last 18 months and several of the 22 foreign carriers currently serving the market have cut capacity in recent months.
Myanmar’s two main international carriers have also reduced capacity. But several domestic carriers are planning to launch international services, which could lead to overcapacity on several routes as the growth in demand has started to slow significantly.
This is Part 3 in a series of reports on the Myanmar aviation market. Part 1 looked at the highly competitive domestic airline sector, where there are now 10 competitors, following the launch of APEX Airlines and FMI Air and the resumption of operations at Air Mandalay. Part 2 analysed the international expansion plans of the recently rebranded Myanmar National Airlines, which is the leading domestic carrier and plans to re-launch international flights in Aug-2015 after a 22 year hiatus.
Myanmar National Airlines (MNA) plans to launch services on the highly competitive Yangon-Singapore route in Aug-2015 as it starts to implement an ambitious international expansion plan. The newly rebranded government-owned carrier took delivery of the first of 10 737-800s in Jun-2015 and plans to operate five international routes by early 2016 as it grows its new narrowbody fleet.
But the airline faces huge challenges as it operates outside the domestic market for the first time in two decades. The Yangon-Singapore market is already experiencing overcapacity and Myanmar-based carriers have struggled to compete against their Singaporean competitors, forcing cutbacks at Myanmar Airways International (MAI) and the withdrawal of Golden Myanmar Airways.
MNA will inevitably face the same challenges in Singapore as other Burmese carriers, particularly given its brand is an unknown in the international market. North Asia, which MNA plans to enter in the coming months, will also be a challenging market.
Competition has further intensified in Myanmar’s domestic market as two more airlines have launched services while Air Mandalay has resumed operations after a six-month hiatus. There are now 10 airlines operating domestic scheduled services in Myanmar, a staggering figure for a market of only 2.2 annual million passengers.
On most main trunk routes competition is fierce with as up to eight carriers competing, often with nearly identical schedules. Consolidation seems inevitable and several airlines in Myanmar have been seeking new investors.
The latest start-ups, APEX Airlines and FMI Air, sought to carve out a niche with bases at the sleepy capital Nay Pyi Taw. But capacity on the Yangon-Nay Pyi Taw route, which saw less than 100,000 passengers in 2014, has quickly doubled as two of the existing carriers, Air KBZ and Asian Wings, entered at nearly the same time as the two start-ups.
Myanmar start-up FMI Air is aiming to launch scheduled services by the end of 2014 using 50-seat CRJ200 regional jets based at the capital Nay Pyi Taw. FMI will become the first airline to establish a hub at Nay Pyi Taw, which has an underutilised modern international airport that opened in 2011.
FMI will enter an extremely crowded domestic market which is already served by eight airlines. But it sees an opportunity to differentiate by operating jets rather than turboprops, providing a higher level of service, partnering with foreign carriers and becoming the first domestic operator in Myanmar with IOSA certification.
FMI Air will initially operate on the Yangon-Nay Pyi Taw route, which it has served over the last two years using wet leased aircraft. But it plans quickly to establish a hub at Nay Pyi Taw with several domestic routes in the first phase and eventually regional international routes.