Myanmar Airways International ceases operation

Oct 11, 2007 (DVB), Myanmar Airways International has ceased operating and is making arrangements to hand over its passengers to other airlines, according to an MAI staff member.

The employee, who did not wish to be named, said that the airline no longer has any aircraft to fly. The MAI previously flew one Boeing 707-800 and two McDonnell Douglas MD-82s on routes between Rangoon and Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.

The staff member put the decision to stop operating down to low ticket demand due to boycotts of tourism and Burmese businesses. Tourists have been reportedly been cancelling visits to Burma since the military regime began its violent suppression of monks and other people involved in recent demonstrations.

However, another MAI employee said that the aircraft had been withdrawn by the companies which lease them, leaving MAI unable to operate.

Forty percent of MAI currently belongs to the state-owned Myanmar Airways, while Hong Kong-based Region Air Myanmar owns 49 per cent, and a Burmese entrepreneur owns the remaining 11 per cent.

Reporting by Nay Htoo

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