Nok Air links Mae Sot on the Thai border to two Myanmar cities – Mawlamyine and Yangon



asean-nation-aug21Nok Air links Mae Sot on the Thai border to two Myanmar cities – Mawlamyine and Yangon – with the introduction of two new routes.

The Mae Sot-Mawlamyine route will start from September 1 while Mae Sot-Yangon flight is scheduled to commence operations in October. Tucked away in the country’s southeast, Mawlamyine is the capital of Mon State and is famous for the Golden Rock at Mt Kyaiktiyo. Yangon, of course, is former capital of Myanmar and a gateway to Myanmar’s investment and economic opportunities. For times and ticketing, visit


Myanmar Airways Bad landing in Kawthaung -VIDEO

YANGON, Myanmar – A domestic Myanma Airways flight had a minor landing mishap Monday, one of two on the same day in Asia involving the same model of Chinese-made twin turboprop aircraft. There were no deaths in either accident.

The accident, the third since late December, comes as Myanmar is experiencing a boom in tourism after instituting democratic reforms that caused western nations to lift most longstanding sanctions that had been applied against the previous repressive military regime.

Myanmar state television showed the scene of the bad landing in Kawthaung in southeastern Myanmar. The Facebook page of the national police said the aircraft carrying four crew members and 60 passengers swerved off one side of the runway on landing Monday on a flight from Mawlamyine that had originated from Yangon, the country’s biggest city.

State-owned Myanmar Airways skidded off the runway on landing at the Kawthaung Airport in southern Myanmar on Monday due to a hydraulic system failure. No injuries were reported.  

The Chinese-made MA60 plane, carrying 60 passengers and 4 flight crew, skidded about 200 feet west of the runway and came to rest in some bushes. Both propellers on the plane’s wings have been damaged but no one was injured.

“[The pilot] took caution in landing the airplane after seeing the hydraulic system failure signal. After the plane’s wheel touched the runway, the plane skidded off about 200 feet from the runway’s edge,” said Than Htun, managing director of Myanmar Airways.

The airplane operates daily domestic flights from Yangon to Mawlamyaing and Kawthaung.

“After the plane took off it returned back to Yangon, which they said was due to mechanical errors. Nothing happened on the way from Yangon to Mawlamyaing. It only happened when we arrived in Kawthaung. The passengers were in chaos and a baby fell under the seat,” said a passenger.

A similar event occurred on May 16 in which the MA60 plane with registration XY-AIQ on Heho-Monghsat flight overran the runaway on landing at Monghsat airport because of a brake problem, causing two serious injuries and substantial damage to the aircraft. Continue reading “Myanmar Airways Bad landing in Kawthaung -VIDEO”

Nok Air prepares for IPO in 3Q2013 with international expansion, starting with two Myanmar routes

Thailand’s Nok Air plans to pursue fleet and network expansion as it seeks to raise about USD100 million through an initial public offering (IPO). The planned 3Q2013 IPO is one of several milestones for Nok in 2013 as the low-cost carrier resumes international services, initially with flights to Yangon and Mawlamyine in Myanmar. Nok will also take delivery of additional 737-800s, completing in 2013 the phase-out of its 737-400 fleet, which it has been operating since launching services in 2004.

Nok, which is partially owned by Thai Airways, has traditionally been a relatively conservative and low profile carrier. It has not been shy to contract during challenging periods and has never been concerned about establishing an international profile, instead focusing on building a strong local brand in the Thai market. But Nok’s steady profitability and strong position in a growth market should allow for a successful IPO and could eventually lead to significant international expansion.

Mawlamyine represents interesting niche market for Nok

Nok instead sees a potential niche in Mawlamyine, which is Myanmar’s fourth largest city after Yangon, Mandalay and the new capital Naypyidaw. Mawlamyine is the capital of Mon Stat state, which is located southeast of Yangon and near the border with Thailand. Mae Sot is the closest city in Thailand and is only about 100km away by air. But to drive between Mae Sot and Mawlamyine takes several hours as the road is circuitous and rough.

As it is such a short flight, and as Nok is able to use the Saab 340 fleet operated by Siam General Aviation, the risk in entering the Mae Sot-Mawlamyine market is low. Nok already uses Saab 340s to serve Mae Sot from Bangkok and Chang Mai, the largest city in northern Thailand. As a result Nok can provide connections to Mawlamyine from both its two largest bases and simply extend an existing Nok Mini Mae Sot flight to include an additional very short sector to Mawlamyine.

The Mawlamyine airport is currently only served by domestic carriers. Technically only three of Myanmar’s airports are open to international services – Mandalay, Yangon and Naypyidaw, where an international airport opened in late 2011 but so far has seen only very limited domestic services due to a lack of demand. Nok has received special clearance from Myanmar authorities to operate the first international flights at Mawlamyine.

Thai NOK Mini Air to fly Mae Sot-Mawlamyine route

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Representatives from NOK Mini Air departing from Mawlamyine Airport on September 30
(Photo – Maung Maung Shwe Myine)

Published on Saturday, 06 October 2012

Thai commuter airline NOK Mini Air will be operating a direct flight between Mae Sot in Thailand and Mawlamyine, the capital of Mon state in Myanmar.

Hla Shein, chairman of Mon Trading Industry Association, told Eleven Media that airline representatives recently met with Mon state officials to discuss upgrading the Mawlamyine Airport and issues on visa, passport and hotel rates.

The chairman said the airline would likely start the flights within three months or so.

Flight time is 20 minutes and roundtrip airfare will cost around US$80.

Hla Shein also said Skyhub International Company will provide training on handling visa and passport issues.

During their visit to Mawlamyaing, NOK Mini Air representatives also visited the Mottama museum and Mottama Hill.

“They are interested in Mottama as they have historical records of communication between the old town and Thailand. The natural beauty of Mottama Hill is something they have never seen before so they are interested in investing in a hotel zone,” said Win Tun Oo, director of Skyhub International Company.

Mawlamyine was the first British capital between 1826 and 1852 after the Myanmar king lost in the First Anglo-Burmese War.

Old government buildings, churches, and clock towers built during the colonial era still remain in the city and could serve as tourist attractions for Westerners, according to Win Tun Oo.

Aside from the regular flights, NOK Mini Air is also planning to introduce tour packages that will include a visit to the Emerald Buddha in Thailand.