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Myanmar LCC outlook: opportunities, led by AirAsia, but short-term challenges with low load factors

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.

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