Golden Myanmar Airlines
- CAPA Analysis
- Schedule Analysis
- Route Maps
- Print Summary
Golden Myanmar Airlines, a Myanmar based LCC, became the eighth airline in the country when it launched services in Jan-2013. As the first carrier in Myanmar to follow the LCC model, Golden Myanmar is trying to differentiate itself from its competitors in the highly fragmented market, operating domestic and international services from its main hub at Mandalay International Airport and its secondary hub at Yangon International Airport. The carrier plans to expand its fleet with a new aircraft every six months with the aim of operating services to the Middle East, Europe, Australia and the US over the next few years.
Location of Golden Myanmar Airlines main hub (Mandalay Annisaton Airport)
LCCs will continue to evolve into hybrids of the original core model. CAPA and OAG consider Golden Myanmar Airlines fits the LCC profile and it is included in our reporting on this basis. Please note: when reporting for an airline is changed from or to LCC the historical data is not affected and it can lead to a distortion in the current reported data. Contact us if you have any queries.
22 total articles
11 total articles
Market conditions in the highly competitive Myanmar domestic airline market could become even more challenging as competition further intensifies. There are currently eight airlines operating in Myanmar’s domestic market, with a ninth close to launching services and two more aiming to begin operations by the end of 2014.
Consolidation is likely as almost every carrier is unprofitable. But there is some hope for improvement as Myanmar has promised to put a moratorium on more start-ups and eliminate taxes on fuel and aircraft.
Passenger demand also continues to grow as Myanmar emerges as a popular tourist destination and the economy expands. There are huge long-term opportunities but for now the domestic market environment is difficult and is not particularly conducive for the low-cost model.
Myanmar has seen a large influx of low-cost carrier capacity over the last 18 months as the two longstanding LCC players in the market, AirAsia and Jetstar, have expanded, while three LCCs have entered. LCC traffic in Myanmar’s international market grew by 70% in 2013 as the penetration rate increased from 20% to 26%.
But the expansion has come at a cost as LCC load factors in Myanmar’s two largest international markets, Thailand and Singapore, have tumbled as competition has intensified. The average LCC international load factor in Myanmar was only 63% in 2013.
Market conditions should eventually improve as demand catches up with supply. But consolidation and/or capacity cuts are likely in the near term.
Myanma Airways has unveiled an ambitious expansion plan which will see the government-owned domestic carrier pushing into Myanmar’s fast-growing but highly competitive international market. Myanma Airways plans to use a new fleet of 737-800s to launch services to North Asia in 2015, with a focus on Korea and Japan.
The carrier on 11-Feb-2014 signed an agreement with GECAS to lease 10 new 737s, including six 737-800s and four 737 MAX 8s, which will roughly double the carrier’s fleet. Myanma Airways currently operates a fleet of 10 regional aircraft, including two Embraer E190s which were leased from GECAS just over one year ago.
The expansion at Myanma Airways is somewhat controversial as it will lead to the country’s only government-owned carrier competing more with Myanmar’s fast-growing private airline sector, which includes seven carriers with up to four more to be launched in 2014. The Myanmar government is keen for local carriers to capture a larger share of Myanmar’s international market and stimulate tourism, but investing in a potentially over-ambitious expansion at Myanma Airways is a risky proposition.
VietJet Air will pursue more rapid expansion in 2014, targets 50% share of Vietnam’s domestic market
VietJet Air is planning more ambitious expansion for 2014, including several new domestic and international destinations, as it looks to leverage its position as the largest low-cost carrier in Vietnam. The privately-owned group also aims to launch at least two overseas joint ventures in 2014.
VietJet, which turns two years old on 25-Dec-2013, already accounts for about 25% of Vietnam’s domestic market. It aims to capture a 45% to 50% share of the domestic market by the end of 2015 as it grows its domestic network to an expected 20 destinations, up from 11 currently.
In the international market VietJet only currently serves Bangkok. But the carrier aims to launch services to Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Korea, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan by the end of 2014.
Myanmar’s aviation market has huge potential for both local and foreign carriers as the country has recorded some of the highest passenger growth rates in Asia since opening up in 2012. But there are also huge challenges, including infrastructure constraints, over-capacity and unprofitability.
Myanmar currently has eight carriers with at least another four preparing to launch services. Most of these carriers focus on the domestic market, operating similar routes with similar aircraft, a similar product and a similar business model. It is too many carriers given Myanmar’s domestic market consists of less than four million annual passengers. Consolidation is inevitable.
Burmese carriers are also now struggling to compete in Myanmar’s international market as foreign airlines have nearly tripled capacity since the market opened up. Burmese carriers transported less than 300,000 international passengers in the first three quarters of 2013, accounting for less than 16% of the total market.
SIA, Jetstar & Tigerair drive Myanmar-Singapore growth but visa restrictions remain major impediment
The Myanmar-Singapore market is facing potential over-capacity as more flights are added, led by low-cost carriers. Tigerair launched services to Yangon in Oct-2013 while Jetstar Asia and Golden Myanmar have both unveiled plans to add capacity on the Yangon-Singapore route.
Passenger numbers between Myanmar and Singapore have increased by about 50% over the last two years. But capacity levels are now up nearly 100%.
Without a waiver of current visa restrictions it is unlikely the market will be able to absorb the additional capacity. Singapore has not approved a proposal from Myanmar to lift visa restrictions although Myanmar is the only Southeast Asian country for which Singapore requires visas. A visa free environment is particularly important for the LCCs, which are eager to stimulate demand on the Yangon-Singapore route.