Dec 17, 2014

Government Myanmar airline changes name.

State-owned airline, Myanmar Airways, adopts a new name as “Myanmar National Airlines (MNA)” to re-launch domestic service 15 December.
The airline’s managing director, Captain Than Tun, said in a statement,  last week, that it was the first government operation to corporatise.
“We’re excited to be part of Myanmar unfolding history today. Myanmar National Airlines has a great opportunity to completely modernise and change the way we serve our country and beyond.”
It will require major surgery including a massive restructuring of the top management to realises that ambition. It is very unlikely that passengers will see any difference in quality, or service standards whatever name the airline adopts.
The airline’s website will begin to allow online bookings and payments using a booking engine. It is probably the last airline in the region to take that elementary step.
It will also launch modern check-in system in Yangon with plans to extend them to Nay Pyi Taw, Mandalay and Nyaung U, over the next few weeks. Modern means upgrading from manual to electronic check-in systems.
In its statement the airline said it would issue a fixed flight schedule and further upgrade airline services by providing comprehensive staff training.
The airline serves 26 airports in Myanmar. It has a fleet 10 aircraft, but intends to add 10 Boeing 737s and six ATR72-600 aircrafts to enable it to launch international services.
More details should have been released on the make up of the management team and the marketing and sales strategy that will be needed to ensure the larger Boeing 737s can operate profitably on international routes. The airline has zero experience in sustaining a profitable international network.
However, it did make quite a fuss about its intentions to restore a 150-year-old heritage office building beside the Strand Hotel “to its former glory.”
Myanma Airways was founded in 1948 under the name “Union of Burma Airways”.
The flights were operated to Singapore, Kathmandu and later to Bangkok, Calcutta, Dhaka, Hong Kong and Jakarta until 1993. It has a very irractic safety record and has been largely ignored by international tour operators unless it was the only travel option.
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