Japanese ANA Airline to Invest in Burma’s Air Industry

By Kyaw Hsu Mon 13 December 2016

RANGOON — The Japanese All Nippon Airways Co. Ltd. (ANA) has proposed an investment in Burma’s air industry, deputy director general of Department of Civil Aviation U Ye Htut Aung told The Irrawaddy.

ANA will reportedly be working with a local partner, the Shwe Thanlwin Co., owned by U Kyaw Win. The group operates transportation, banking and broadcast media in Burma.

“We’ve received their proposal for a new airline operation. ANA asked us for an 80:20 ratio,” U Ye Htut Aung explained, adding that the 80 percent ownership would go to ANA and 20 percent to Shwe Thanlwin. “A decision has yet to be made,” he said, with discussions set to continue later this year.

Foreign investment ventures in Burma require an ownership ratio of 49 percent for the foreign investor and the 51 percent majority for the local company.

“That’s why we will have to discuss more,” U Ye Htut Aung said. “I can’t say when the government will allow it.”

Yet according to a Monday report in The Japan Times, ANA’s CEO Shinya Katanozaka said that in the Japanese airline’s new venture in Burma, his company would hold a 49 percent stake and a local company—which he did not identify—would in fact retain the remainder. He said that the companies had put forward a combined initial investment of US$150,000.

ANA said that the venture is expected to start in 2018.

ANA once planned to invest in Burma’s air industry by working with the domestic airline Asian Wings Ltd., but the agreement was canceled in 2014.

According to Burma’s Department of Civil Aviation, 29 airlines, both international and domestic, are currently operating in Burma and traveling to Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China and Qatar.