Myanmar international passenger growth slows but China market booms
Myanmar’s aviation market has grown rapidly over the past decade, tripling in size. However, 2018 marked by far the slowest rate of growth this decade.
International passenger traffic grew by only 2% as visitor numbers to Myanmar increased by less than 3%. Tourism is critical to Myanmar as inbound visitors account for most international traffic and a large portion of domestic traffic, which declined by 5% in 2018.
A bright spot has been the Myanmar-China market, which grew rapidly in 2018 boosted by a 40% increase in Chinese visitor numbers. Even faster growth from China is expected in 2019 due to a new more liberal visa policy introduced in late 2018 that has already led to several airlines entering the Myanmar-China market.
There are 26 routes connecting Myanmar and China in Feb-2019, compared to only six a year ago. The number of airlines competing in the Myanmar-China market has grown from four to 11 as seat capacity has more than doubled.
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