Myanmar Airways International

Myanmar Airways International
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded 1946 (1946) (as Union of Burma Airways)
Commenced operations 1993
Hubs Yangon International Airport
Frequent-flyer program Sky Smile Privilege Program
Fleet size 4
Destinations 9
Company slogan Modern Comforts, Gentle Traditions
Parent company Kanbawza Group (KBZ Group)
Headquarters Yangon, Myanmar
Key people
  • Tin Maung Htun (Chairman)
  • Si Thu (Managing Director, CEO)

Myanmar Airways International Co., Ltd. (Burmese: အပြည်ပြည်ဆိုင်ရာ မြန်မာ့လေကြောင်း) is a privately owned airline headquartered in Yangon, Myanmar.[1] It operates scheduled international services to destinations mainly in Southeast Asia and is based at Yangon International Airport. Myanmar Airways International was the sponsor of the 2013 Southeast Asian Games.


Early years

The airline was founded by the government before independence in 1946 as Union of Burma Airways. It initially operated domestic services only. International services were added in 1950. The name was changed to Burma Airways in December 1972, and then to Myanma Airways on April 1, 1989, following the renaming of the country from Burma to Myanmar. International services were transferred to Myanmar Airways International, which was set up in 1993.[2]

Myanmar Airways International (MAI) took off in August 1993, initially created as a joint venture between Myanma Airways and Singapore-based Highsonic Enterprises, with the support of Royal Brunei Airlines. It boasted a Singapore management team (many ex-Singapore Airlines staff), new Boeing aircraft, all-expatriate cockpit crews, improved training for flight attendants and new UK Civil Aviation Authority operating standards. Eventually, the original joint venture was terminated and MAI became a wholly owned Myanmar company. In January 2001, a new joint venture was formed in which Region Air Myanmar (HK) Ltd., took a 49% stake and a local businessman through his company Zan Co. took an 11% share and Myanma Airways retained 40%.

In 2001, a new corporate identity and aircraft livery were rolled out and the company completed its first major cabin-crew-upgrading program. In 2002, the airline obtained new International Air Transport Association (IATA) airline designator codes and joined both the IATA Multilateral Interline Traffic Agreement (MITA) and IATA Clearing House. The airline sent 122 employees on training courses at Malaysia Airlines and Royal Brunei Airlines training centres. In 2003, MAI launched a code-share agreement with Thai Airways International on the Bangkok-Yangon-Bangkok route. The company also has code-sharing with Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways and Jetstar Asia Airways. In 2004, the airline took delivery of new uniforms for ground staff and recruited a further 16 new cabin-crew trainees.

In February 2007, the foreign management team under Region Air Myanmar (HK) Ltd. transferred its control to MAI.

Expansion and modernization since 2009

MAI inherited a long history of government ownership when it was separated from Myanmar National Airlines in 1993. The new airline was initially formed as a joint venture company between Myanma Airways and a Singapore investment company. Just prior to the 2010 General Election, Myanmar's government sold an 80% stake in MAI to one of the country's largest financial institutions, Kanbawza Bank Ltd, retaining a 20% stake through the state-owned domestic carrier, Myanma Airways. In 2009 MAI received delivery of its first two aircraft with the remainder of the carrier's short-haul fleet being leased from neighbouring countries. Operations radically change from 2010 under KBZ Bank's ownership with organizational and route adjustments. As well as fully commercializing the airline's operations, the carrier's controlling parent also launched a domestic partner airline, Air KBZ in June 2010.[3] Since then, MAI has been expanding its fleet and currently has a total of 5 Airbus A320s and 2 Airbus A319s in its service. It also leased Airbus A321s from Air Méditerranée in the winter of 2010-2011 and deployed them on Bangkok-Singapore services. Non-hub routes between Bangkok-Singapore and Siem Reap-Phnom Penh were successfully inaugurated in 2010 and 2011 respectively. In 2013, MAI received IOSA certificate, the only recipient in Myanmar of the IATA Operational Safety Audit Program (IOSA) Operator. In 2016, Kanbawza (KBZ) Group acquired full control of MAI. In 2018 the airline commenced services between Mandalay-Bangkok.[4]


Sky Smile Privilege Program

In this frequent flyer program, MAI offers two levels of membership - Diamond and Ruby. Passengers who have traveled on three return flights within one calendar year are entitled to apply for the Ruby membership and start earning points required to qualify for the next level. If a passenger has completed a minimum of six return flights with his Ruby membership, the membership will automatically be moved up to the Diamond membership scheme. A Sky Smile Privilege Program member can redeem the mile points earned by flying with MAI for free travel tickets.

Sky Smile Executive Lounge

MAI Sky Smile Executive Lounge at Yangon International Airport is offered exclusively for Diamond Card Members and business class passengers. The lounge offers refreshments, entertainment and business secretary services.


Myanmar Airways International serves the following destinations:

Country City Airport Notes Refs
 ChinaGuangzhouGuangzhou Baiyun International Airport
 IndiaGayaGaya Airport
 IndiaKolkataNetaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport[5]
 JapanOsakaKansai International AirportCharter
 MyanmarMandalayMandalay International Airport
 MyanmarYangonYangon International AirportHub
 SingaporeSingaporeSingapore Changi Airport
 ThailandBangkokSuvarnabhumi International Airport

Codeshare agreements

Myanmar Airways International has codeshare agreements with the following airlines:[6]


Current Fleet

The Myanmar Airways International fleet comprises the following aircraft (as of August 2017):[8]

Myanmar Airways International Fleet
Aircraft In Fleet Orders Passengers Notes
Airbus A319-100 3 144
Airbus A320-200 1 180
Total 4

Former Fleet

MAI has operated a variety of aircraft types, including:

See also


  1. "Offices Address." Myanmar Airways International. Retrieved on 10 October 2009.
  2. "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 2007-04-10. p. 53.
  3. "Airline Review - Myanmar Airways International". 9 April 2018.
  4. "Myanmar Airways International Adds Mandalay – Bangkok from Sep 2016". Routes Online. 11 July 2016.
  5. "Myanmar Airways International adds Kolkata service from Dec 2016". routesonline. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  6. "Profile on Myanmar Airways International". CAPA. Centre for Aviation. Archived from the original on 2016-11-02. Retrieved 2016-11-02.
  7. "Royal Brunei Airlines and Myanmar Airways International ink codeshare agreement". Retrieved 21 December 2017.
  8. "Global Airline Guide 2017 (Part One)". Airliner World (October 2017): 21.

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