MANDALAY—The launch of Chinese airline 9 Air’s direct flight between Mandalay and China’s Guangzhou on Tuesday brings the number of airlines flying directly between Mandalay and China to five, said Assistant General Manager U Nyan Tun Oo of the government’s Civil Aviation Department.
Apart from Myanmar Airways International, all other airlines are Chinese, namely China Eastern, Sichuan, Donghai and 9 Air.
“Travelers from the mainland are very interested in Mandalay, which is home to a big jade and amber market, so we have chosen Mandalay as our first international destination,” said Ji Guangping, president of the Guangzhou-based low-cost airline at an event to celebrate the launching of the inaugural flight at Mandalay International Airport on Tuesday.
Regular flights will be operated using 180-seater planes every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, and the travel time is around 1 hour and 40 minutes.
The airline expects to expand its operations in November with a new route between the commercial capital Yangon and Guangzhou.
Around 3,500 foreigners arrive and depart from Mandalay International Airport daily, and most of them are Chinese tourists, according to the Mandalay Region Directorate of Hotels and Tourism.
“The number of travelers between China and Mandalay is high and we expect to see more trips and more travelers in the future,” said Takahashi, director of MC-Jalux Airport Services, the operator of Mandalay Airport.
Ten international airlines and four domestic airlines are currently operating at Mandalay International Airport.
On Monday, the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism introduced visa relaxations for Asian travelers to Myanmar, giving visa fee exemptions to travelers from Japan, South Korea, Macao and Hong Kong and visa-on-arrival allowances for Chinese travelers who enter through international airports.