Air Bagan cuts Singapore flights

Oct 25, 2007 (DVB), Burmese junta-linked airline Air Bagan is suspending all flights to Singapore in the wake of sanctions imposed on the company and its owner by the United States.

Air Bagan is owned by Tay Za, who has close links to the Burmese military regime and extensive business interests in Burma and Singapore.

His connections to senior government figures led the US Treasury on 19 October to impose sanctions against Tay Za and his major businesses, preventing US citizens from doing business with him and freezing any assets he holds within US jurisdiction.

In a sign that the targeted sanctions may be beginning to take effect, Air Bagan announced to tour operators that it will be suspending all flights to Singapore due to problems caused by the restrictions.

A tour operator in Singapore told DVB that the airline had announced to travel companies that it was cutting the service.

"We received instructions from Air Bagan to stop selling tickets for flights after 4 November," the operator said.

While the move is said to be temporary, there was no indication of when the company would be able to operate again.

The carrier has been flying to Singapore since 7 September this year.

Reporting by Than Win Htut

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