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Myanmar’s domestic flights are back


YANGON, 5 February 2021: Myanmar’s flag carrier, Myanmar National Airlines, says it is flying domestic services and some “relief flights” to bring Myanmar citizens home according to an airline website announcement.

A leading travel company executive confirmed the return of domestic services on Thursday following a short two-day suspension. Facebook posts also confirmed MNA had resumed domestic flights as of 4 February. Usually, airline website announcements are notoriously out-of-date in Myanmar and often lack a dateline making it challenging to determine if the information is currently valid.

However, the MNA’s website did accept a booking and quoted a fare for a one-way flight from Yangon to Mandalay for 5 February. Flightradar24, that tracks flights, also showed three flights underway on Thursday, 4 February. Golden Myanmar Airlines and Mann Yadanarporn were flying from Sittwe to Yangon mid-day while a Myanmar National Airlines’ flight departed from Myitkyina north of Mandalay.

Earlier in the week, local newspapers in Myanmar confirmed the military coup leaders issued an order suspending all flights and closing all airports until 31 May. They quoted what is known as a Notice to Airmen NOTAM dated 2 February. It referred to both domestic and international flights but based on Flightradar24  and travel agency feedback; domestic flights are back in the skies in Myanmar.

Golden Myanmar Airlines provided more detailed information for passengers saying scheduled flights would “resume 4 February 2021 according to the standard operating procedures (SOP) of the Ministry of Health and Sports.”

Earlier in the week, a Myanmar Times’ report claimed some foreign embassies had suggested the ban on international flights to and from Myanmar would lift 30 April. Officially civil aviation authorities last weekend said the suspension of commercial international flights remained in place until at least 28 February, but that was before the army seized power. Its first order was to declare a state of emergency for one year. It is very likely that commercial international flights will not resume before the end of May.

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