AirAsia talks on new Myanmar airline ‘have stopped’

AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes. Photo: AirAsia

Less than two months after announcing plans to launch a new budget airline for Myanmar, AisAsia CEO Tony Fernandes now says that talks with a potential partner for the project “have stopped.”

Fernandes first announced that talks were taking place in March, saying of the potential partner: “We had a good meeting with someone in Sydney – he’s got a good airline that we’ve known for a long time and he is a well-respected guy.”

The potential partner has not been identified.

AirAsia already has businesses in Malaysia, where the company is based, plus India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Japan, and Thailand. If it had come to be, the new airline would have given the low-cost carrier 95 per cent coverage of the Southeast Asian travel market.

The company’s new Vietnam joint venture is expected to be flying by the end of this year or in early 2019, according to the CEO.

As of July 2017, Myanmar was served by 10 domestic airlines with a total of 58 planes. Domestic flights are notoriously expensive, at least in part due to high taxes and gas prices. On top of that, international travelers may be charged up to twice as much as Myanmar nationals for a ticket.

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