Myanmar National Airlines, previously known as Myanma Airways and the national flag carrier of Myanmar, has taken delivery of its first ATR 72-600.
The airline, which has three ATR 72-500s, two ATR 72-200s and one ATR 42-300 in its fleet, booked an order for six ATR 72-600s in 2014, along with options for six additional aircraft. ATR valued the potential 12-aircraft deal at US$296 million at list prices.
Yangon International Airport-based Myanmar National Airlines is scheduled to take delivery of all six ATR 72-600s on firm order by 2017.
According to ATR, the new aircraft will provide the additional seat capacity and further enhanced service that Myanmar National Airlines requires to meet the booming demand for tourism and business travel throughout Myanmar.
In addition to the introduction of the newest ATR-600s, the airline is also setting up a modern maintenance, repair and overhaul center in Yangon, with support from ATR. Today, there are 30 ATR turboprop regional airliners in operation in Myanmar, flying with eight airlines.
“We are upgrading our fleet with an aircraft that is proving to be outstandingly successful, particularly in Asia, and which has shown itself to be the optimal choice both in terms of operational versatility and fuel efficiency,” says Than Tun, managing director of Myanmar National Airlines.
“Upgrading to the newest ‘-600s’ came naturally after having successfully operated former ATR versions for years,” adds Than.
“The number of ATRs flying in Myanmar has doubled in recent years, highlighting the aircraft’s suitability for the short-haul network and for main and small airfields,” notes Patrick de Castelbajac, chief executive officer of ATR.
Founded in 1949 as Union of Burma Airways, the airline was then renamed Myanma Airways and now operates under the name of Myanmar National Airlines.
Myanmar National Airlines operates scheduled services to all major domestic destinations and is in the midst of a major restructuring plan aimed at establishing it as a major carrier in the ASEAN region and beyond.
The airline plans to expand its network rapidly beyond Myanmar by introducing six Boeing 737-800s and four 737 MAX 8s in the near term, and renewing its regional fleet with new ATR 72-600s.