30 OCT 2018
An air link between Italy and Myanmar will be established starting tomorrow.
Milan-based Neos Spa, an Italian leisure airline, will begin flying the route with a chartered Boeing 767 every Wednesday. The flight will stop over in Phu Quoc, Vietnam before landing at Yangon International Airport.
Neos will be the first airline to fly from Europe to Myanmar even as the number of western tourists arriving here has seen a decline.
According to statistics from the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, 11,976 travellers from Italy visited Myanmar for the period up to September last year. For the same period this year, the number declined 14.6 percent to 10,221 visitors.
Thirty four passengers will be arriving in Myanmar on the first flight, half of whom will be travel agents, U Aung Myat Kyaw, managing director of Orchestra Travel Co told The Myanmar Times. Orchestra Travel is providing ground services for charter flight.
He added that the flight is expected to bring more travellers in the weeks following the inaugural trip.
“This is a chance for Myanmar to promote its tourism offerings as arrivals from Europe are dropping. Even Vietnam has lowered its visa fees and requirements as an incentive for travellers on the Neos Air flight. We should consider similar incentives to encourage charter flights from other countries as well,” U Aung Myat Kyaw said.
Neos Air has been operating its charter flight to Phu Quou, Vietnam since last year and has now added Myanmar to the route, he said, adding the flight relies on market demand and if there is demand, more seats can be added.
“The airline intends to fly the route weekly from October 31 up to the first week of next April and will consider using bigger aircraft for the flight is there is sufficient demand.
“Hopefully this charter flight will be successful for years to come as it can raise awareness of Myanmar as a tourist destination,” U Aung Myat Kyaw said.
Chinese low-cost carrier 9 Air also began flying directly between Yangon and Guangzhou this weekend.