Yangon Airport: ASKs up to 58% in 2013; Thai Airways dominates, while Golden Myanmar moves in

Yangon Airport celebrated with a cake the launch of Biman Bangladesh Airlines’ twice-weekly services from Dhaka

Yangon Airport celebrated with a cake the launch of Biman Bangladesh Airlines’ twice-weekly services from Dhaka. Air Marshal Jamal Uddin Ahmed, Chairman, Biman Board of Directors (right) was on hand to cut the cake’s first slice.

Yangon Airport is the primary international airport (based on Innovata data for w/c 10 December) of Myanmar, officially known as the Republic of the Union Myanmar. The airport is located in Mingaladon, 15 kilometres north of Yangon, the country’s largest city with a population of five million. The city of Yangon is the country’s main centre for trade, industry, real estate, media, entertainment and tourism, which contributes 23% to the national GDP. Benefiting from this favourable economic climate, the airport has recently overtaken Nay Pyi Taw Airport, serving the nation’s capital city, to become the second busiest airport for passenger traffic in Myanmar, behind Mandalay Airport.

International capacity +63.5%

Analysis of Innovata’s ASKs data indicates that around 3 billion one-way seats were offered on routes involving Yangon, 58% more than in the previous year. At 64%, international capacity noted significantly more growth than domestic services, which recorded an annual change of 15.6% this December.

Yangon Airport capacity 2004-2013* Annual domestic and international ASKs (billions)

Source: Innovata 2004-2013. 2013*: as of 10 December 2013

Overall, looking at capacity data since 2004, the international market has by far outperformed the domestic sector in terms of growth, even though the latter experienced 30% growth over this period. In terms of Yangon’s international market, this has increased by nearly 420% when compared to 2004; therefore, in 2013 this market is expected to reach 2.73 billion one-way ASKs.

Golden Myanmar enters top 12

While Thai Airways has increased its capacity over the last 12 months by 4.9%, dominating Yangon with its 583-kilometre thrice-daily services to Bangkok, other carriers have expanded their presence as well. Most notable is the entry of Golden Myanmar Airlines, the country’s first domestic and international low-cost carrier that was established in July 2012. The airline has burst into the top 12 airlines at the #2 position, featuring a seat share of 9.9% at Yangon. The LCC, which has a fleet comprising of two A320s, launched four new services from Yangon this year, namely two domestic flights to Nay Pyi Taw and Mandalay, along with two international links to Bangkok and Singapore.

Top 12 Airlines at Yangon Airport Weekly one-way seat capacity

Source: Innovata / Diio Mi for w/c 10 December 2013

As of December 2013, the top 12 airlines represent a seat share of 71.7% at Yangon. Malaysia Airlines has strengthened its presence with an annual growth in weekly seats of 89.3%, as a result of boosting its Kuala Lumpur services to twice-weekly, while Myanmar Airways, the leader in 2012, has recorded the greatest decrease (-31.3%), when compared to December 2012. Besides Golden Myanmar, five other carriers started operating from Yangon in 2013, including Asian Wings Airways, which now serves five domestic destinations, utilising its three 47-seat ATR 42s and one 182-seat A321.

Japan is the fastest growing market

The fastest growing country being served from Yangon is Japan, which has grown by nearly 300%, when comparing data from 10-16 December in 2013 with the same week last year. All Nippon Airways has expanded hugely in the last 12 months, increasing its flights to Tokyo Narita Airport from thrice-weekly to daily. On the other hand, services to India have experienced the greatest capacity decrease (-52%), as a result of Myanmar Airways withdrawing its four weekly services to Gaya.

Top 12 Country Markets at Yangon Airport Weekly one-way seat capacity

Source: Innovata / Diio Mi for w/c 10 December 2013

Thailand has managed to maintain its top position in 2013, increasing its seat offering by 38%. However, two new country markets have been added this year, Hong Kong and Bangladesh, although the latter did not make the Top 12 ranking. Hong Kong’s entry at #11 position is due to Dragonair, which commenced serving Hong Kong on 9 January with four weekly services, utilising its 172-seat A321s.

13 new services from Yangon so far in 2013

Since the start of the year, Yangon has welcomed 13 new services from nine different airlines. Golden Myanmar (with four routes) and Nok Air (two) are the only carriers that have launched more than one service so far in 2013. Out of the 13 new services, five are domestic, with Mandalay being the most frequently added domestic airport, as a result of Golden Myanmar’s daily services and Myanmar Airways’ thrice-weekly services. Recently, Biman Bangladesh Airlines launched on 9 December its first service from Yangon, linking Myanmar’s primary international airport with Dhaka.

Launch Date Destination (code) Airline WF (aircraft)
09-Jan Hong Kong (HKG) Dragonair 4 (A321)
15-Mar Singapore (SIN) Golden Myanmar Airlines 7 (A320)
15-Apr Mandalay (MDL) Golden Myanmar Airlines 7 (A320)
24-Apr Tachilek (THL) Air KBZ 3 (ATR72)
29-Apr Kyaukpyu (KYP) Air Mandalay 5 (ATR42)
02-May Lashio (LSH) Yangon Airways 3 (ATR72)
20-May Bangkok (BKK) Golden Myanmar Airlines 7 (A320)
26-May Mandalay (MDL) Myanmar Airways 3 (A320)
01-Oct Mae Sot (MAQ) Nok Air 7 (SF3)
01-Oct Singapore (SIN) Tigerair Singapore 7 (A320)
28-Oct Nay Pyi Taw (NYT) Golden Myanmar Airlines 7 (A320)
01-Nov Bangkok Don Mueang (DMK) Nok Air 4 (B738)
09-Dec Dhaka (DAC) Biman Bangladesh Airlines 2 (B738)
Source: anna.aero New Routes Database

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