Feb 15, 2014

New Aircrafts purchase by Myanmar Airways

Myanmar’s national airline has signed a contract with US firm GE Capital to lease 10 Boeing aircraft worth nearly a billion dollars in a major makeover for the largely domestic airline.

US ambassador to Myanmar Derek Mitchell described the agreement as the “largest commercial sale” by a US company to Myanmar in decades.

Under the agreement, state-owned Myanmar Airways will lease 10 new Boeing 737 planes from GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS), the commercial leasing and financing arm of US giant General Electric.

Delivery of the planes is scheduled to begin in June 2015.
The agreement was signed on the sidelines of the Singapore Airshow, Asia’s biggest aerospace and defense show.

“The contract calls for six Boeing 737-800 models and four Boeing 737-MAX models. The aircraft will deliver through 2020,” GECAS said in a statement.
The planes are valued at US$960 million at list prices.

It will be a major makeover for state-owned Myanmar Air, which was established in 1948 and currently operates domestic services using Fokker F28 jets and ATR turboprops.

For flights to smaller domestic airports, Myanmar Airways uses Beechcraft and Cessna planes.
As the sole state-owned airline it takes a stake in other airlines that offer services in Myanmar such as Myanmar International Airlines, the airline that offers the most international services.

Myanmar Airways safety record is poor and tour operators are reluctant to use its services due alleged low standards of aircraft maintenance and service.
However, that might change with the introduction of newer and bigger aircraft.

“We are pleased at GE to work with Myanmar Airways to provide new, state-of-the-art Boeing aircraft,” Norman Liu, president and chief executive of GECAS, said in a statement.
“This is an important milestone for the airline and for the development of Myanmar’s aviation industry.”

Myanmar Transportation Minister Nyan Htun Aung said the new Boeing planes would be used to expand the carrier’s routes to East Japan and South Korea.

The carrier’s sole international destination currently is Gaya in India, which is important for Buddhist pilgrims.
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