YANGON, 4 February 2021: Myanmar’s military rulers have closed all commercial airports including the country’s main gateway Yangon International Airport until 31 May.
Before the Monday coup that saw the army round-up the country’s newly re-elected leaders, the government had extended the suspension of all international flights to the country until the end of February to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, domestic flights still served most cities in the country from Yangon Airport. Then the military dropped a bombshell on travel prospects. Yangon airport manager, Phone Myint, told Reuters on Tuesday that the airport would remain closed until May.
However, a Myanmar Times report quoting a Myanmar Notice to Airmen said the ruling closes all flights and airports across the country, not just flights to the main gateway Yangon International Airport.
It is understood that permission to land and take-off has been revoked for all flights, including relief flights, until 2359 on 31 May. However, some foreign embassies are suggesting international flights to Yangon could resume earlier on 30 April. On Wednesday, reports also surfaced on Facebook quoting the Ministry of Information suggesting repatriation flights would be allowed soon
Before the military order, Yangon International Airport remained busy with domestic flights and necessary repatriation flights to bring Myanmar citizens home. Also, cargo flights had just started to bring in Covid-19 vaccine supplies from India.
Yangon’s airport’s website has not been updated with the latest notice. It says the suspension extends to 28 February, when civil aviation authorities will review it.