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Foreigners enter Yangon Int’l Airport as services return to normality

Yangon International Airport was reopened to international travellers and businesses on 17 April after a two-year closure due to COVID-19. The first flight of SQ-761 from Singapore landed at the airport at 9 am on the reopening day. Arrivals from Malaysia and Bangkok were followed, and officials welcomed them. On 17 April, 688 departures and 393 arrivals from Yangon International Airport. The service was provided by MAI and MNA airlines. The first flight was launched on 18 April by passengers from Dubai, Singapore, Bangkok, and Malaysia, and a total of 517 passengers have arrived on five airlines. On 19 April, the Bangkok-Yangon flight MAI-336 landed first with 32 passengers, followed by the UB-026 Kuala Lumpur-Yangon flight with 106 passengers.

Two hundred eighty-eight passengers arrived at the airport via five airlines from China (Guangzhou), South Korea (Incheon), Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand on the same day. In the evening, Guangzhou, Incheon, and Bangkok tourists continued to arrive. “Yangon International Airport caters to all needs of travellers. Everyone is happy about the reopening of Myanmar’s best airport,” said a Yangon Aerodrome Company (YACL) official at the Yangon International Airport. “And the country’s development is only through these airports, which are the country’s gateways. The tourism industry also needs to make it more attractive for tourists. “If we work harder to revitalize the tourism sector, we will be able to surpass the previous tourist arrivals as tourists love our country’s natural beauty,” he added.

Upon arrival at Yangon International Airport, passengers are required to go to the airport health counter and show the necessary COVID-19 virus-free PCR test and immunization certificate. Once the documents have been verified, passengers can go through the immigration process and pick up their luggage. After departure from the arrival area, passengers can obtain the information on the entrance to the Health Counter Quarantine arranged by the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism. The quarantine will be provided with check-in and checkout transportation arrangements, and foreign travellers on commercial flights will be able to enter the hotel with a one-day quarantine.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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MAI to extend local, foreign flights after easing curbs on international flights

The Yangon International Airport will resume admission to international flights on 17 April, Myanmar New Year Day and Myanmar Airways International will extend domestic and foreign flights. MAI will run Malaysia, Singapore and Bangkok flights once a day while thrice a day to Guangzhou (China) and Incheon (South Korea), once a week to India, Dubai of UAE and Japan and twice a week to Phuket (Thailand) and Penang (Malaysia) and also operate Mandalay-Bangkok route.

It also plans to operate New Delhi (India), Dubai and Japan flights thrice every week. “MAI provided flight operations keeping in line with the rules of transportation. It has been running for 27 years since 1993 and will keep cooperating in the country’s development sector when world tourism comes alive again in Myanmar. We will run local routes as the Kalay airport is opened. ‘We will run to 18 local airports.

After the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic for two years, we will provide services as per the rules and regulations of WHO when the world tourism industry is revised. The MAI welcomes the tourists,” said U Kyaw Soe Hla, Chief Operating Officer of MAI. During the Thingyan period, MAI will run to 18 domestic airports in addition to Thandwe, Sittway, Kyaukpyu, Mandalay, Myitkyina, Putao, Kengtung, Tachilek, Myeik, Kawthoung, Nay Pyi Taw and Lashio. The MAI will resume local and foreign flight operations following the COVID-19 health rules of the Ministry of Health. 

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Singapore accepts Myanmar COVIDPASS

Passengers travelling to Singapore from Myanmar can now use the ZADA COVIDPASS to share their vaccination records on arrival at the immigration checkpoints at Changi Airport. They are very proud that COVIDPASS holders in Myanmar now can use the COVIDPASS as a vaccination proof when entering Singapore, giving travellers from Myanmar complete confidence that their data is secure and under their control, said Andreas Sigurdsson, ZADA Founder & CEO.

The COVIDPASS is managed in the ZADA digital wallet and can only be issued by accredited vaccination centres such as Pun Hlaing Hospitals in Yangon. Digital health certificates such as COVIDPASS are becoming a key feature of international air travel, and decentralized solutions like ZADA are a more secure and efficient way to manage them.

The Chief Commercial Officer at MAI, the first Airline in Myanmar to verify the COVIDPASS for travel, shared, MAI is delighted to collaborate with COVIDPASS as they strive to improve the overall travel experience of their passengers during these challenging times. They hope this addresses the need to digitalize vaccine passports and streamline sharing of sensitive information.

ZADA is seeing growing success with the COVIDPASS credential, and in the last eight months since going live in Myanmar, over 100,000 certificates have been issued, multiple partners have joined the network, and the unique experiences of running a Decentralized Identity Network have been shared through forums in both Europe, Southeast Asia and the Asia Pacific.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Entrepreneurs delighted with tourism recovery from COVID-19

Myanmar’s tourism industry is welcoming the ease of suspension on international passenger flights and tourism recovery on Myanmar New Year Day, which will fall on 17 April 2022. It has been over two years since the international air transportation services halted amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The government will lift global flight restrictions from 17 April 2022 with a view to reviving the tourism business, effectuating the development of regional business and creating job opportunities. With the domestic tourism businesses resuming, hotels and guesthouses at the beaches have been fully booked between 9 and 17 April.

Moreover, tourists linking with the travel agents are also eager to come and visit Myanmar once the international passenger flights resume on 17 April. “The domestic tourism business is raising its head again during the New Year holidays. As Myanmar is soon to reopen the international tourists, there are enquiries about entry requirements for the COVID-19 and travel restrictions and permission in the country. Nearly 70 French tourists have said to visit Myanmar. Yet, transit is allowed with some restrictions at Singapore Changi Airport. The resumption of international travel to Myanmar is required to be informed. This way, the tourism industry will grow in a short time. Thailand and Viet Nam are also offering visa exemptions for travel purposes to attract tourists.

If we can ease more travel requirements and offer exemptions, there is potential to achieve positive change and success in the tourism industry among the regional countries,” U Maung Maung, a travel entrepreneur from the World Quest, was quoted as saying. Viet Nam attracted more than 90,000 tourists in the first quarter of this year on account of the resumption of international transport services, lifting the ban on tourism businesses and reopening the cross-border areas, which is a year-on-year rise of 89.1 per cent. Viet Nam strives to generate foreign revenues. Thailand is also endeavouring for tourism recovery. That is why Myanmar, the neighbouring country with Thailand, can also accelerate tourism in summer.

Tourists eye the famous destinations like Bagan, Inlay, Pindaya, cultural heritage, and ecotourism. Consequently, the businesses relying on the tourism industry will also return to normalcy. Tourists love the kind and patient Myanmar people who always welcome them with a kind and sincere smile. They are enthusiastic about coming here, travel agents stated. Myanmar’s captivating mountain ranges, scenic views and friendly and honest smiles of the local people are acknowledged by the tourists. I am delighted with the resumption of air travel. U Maung Maung added that the tourists are expected to visit Bagan, Inlay, Mandalay and Monywa’s Phoewintaung (Buddhist cave). Tourism entrepreneurs are delightfully welcoming moves to ease of travel restrictions starting from the Myanmar New Year Day. 

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Yepokegyi Village, a potential tourist destination in the future

Yepokegyi Village in Pwintbyu Township, Magway Region, has become famous for its children who preserve the traditional San-yit-wine hairstyle (a style of hairdo with a top knot and a circular fringe). Children in this village, both boys and girls, traditionally keeps this hairstyle from five years of age until they become fifteen or sixteen.

The name “Yepokegyi” is derived from “Yezalokegyi” which refers to the lake in the form of a bird’s crop located on the east side of the village. The village is eight miles from Shauktaw Village and can be accessed within a 25-minute drive from Pwintbyu. Despite the improved village roads, expansion of schools and the rising standard of living, children are retaining their cultural heritage, the hairdo, which are attracting more and more tourists.

The village is now home to more than 700 residents with the San-yit-wine hairstyle out of the 3,400 total population, according to U Lu Win, the village administrator. The elders of the village said that this traditional hairdo has been kept in Yepokegyi village for about 200 years. Due to the beauty of the lake, the village monastery, smooth roads, young women fetching water and weaving, it is going to be a tourist destination for photographers, painters and tourists who are looking for this kind of cultural characteristics. 

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Hotels welcome back guests in Yangon

Hotels in Yangon that were among the first to suspend operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic have welcomed travellers back. Many small hotels in the Yangon hotel zone have reopened since domestic tourism has been boosted.

Though there is not much profit from the hotel business at present, reopening at least will cover employees’ salaries and maintain the electricity and utility cost of the hotel. According to the Yangon Hotelier Association chairman, prolonged closure makes them difficult maintain in the long run.

Due to the suspension of international travellers to Myanmar, foreign-invested hotels have not yet reopened. Yangon, which has been hard-hit by the global pandemic, has 359 small hotels related to domestic tourism and about 20 foreign-direct-invested hotels that target international travellers.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Hotel operation gets green light for tourism in Magway Region

The Ministry of Hotels and Tourism has given the hotels, motels and guest houses in Magway Region permission to welcome back customers starting from May, 2021. A total of 50 hotels and motels have been closed since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared last year and 20 of them were reopened in accordance with the COVID-19 rules and regulations set by the Ministry of Health and Sports since April and now all of 50 are reopened.

The hotels and tourism sector in the region is reportedly relying on the domestic travellers and resumption of the business will yield income and eventually profit, an official from the ministry said. The hotels, motels and guest houses are fully booked during the university graduation period and the “Shwesettaw pagoda Buddha Pujaniya festival” which lasts about five months. The hotels and tourism sector in Magway Region generates money from the domestic and international tourists who come to the pagoda Buddha Pujaniya festivals.

The tourist sites including Myathalun pagoda, Gangaw Tahtaung pagoda and Kwechaung fortress in Magway Township, Malun emerald alms-bowl pagoda and Minhla fortress in Minhla Township, Sekkeinte pagoda, Nagapwet mountain, Shwesettaw pagoda, Shwesettaw Wildlife Sanctuary and the elephant camp in Minbu Township, Yokesone monastery and ancient pagodas in Sagu, and Sandagu Natha Kyaungtawya pagoda and Lekaing Yokesone monastery in Pwintbyu township are famous tourist sites in Magway Region. It is reported that plans are underway to develop new tourist destinations for the changing tourism industry in the post-COVID-19 era so as to attract homegrown and international tourists in addition to preservation of ancient cultural heritages and conservation of natural beauties.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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The $ 130 million Peninsula Yangon Hotel project in Yangon is halted for a year

Hong Kong and Shanghai Hotels Holdings, which operates high-end luxury Peninsula hotels, announced on May 21 that they would suspend a $ 130 million construction project in Yangon for a year, the Nikkei Asia reported. They have reached an agreement with their partners to suspend the Peninsula Yangon hotel project for 12 months due to the current situation in Myanmar , Clement Cox, chief executive of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, told shareholders at the company’s annual meeting on May 21.

It is mentioned that they would continue to monitor the situation in Myanmar and hoped to restart the project as soon as the situation stabilized. The project also includes the renovation of the former colonial-style Myanmar Railways headquarters in downtown Yangon into an 88-room Peninsula Hotel. Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels own 70 percent of the project, with the remaining 30 percent owned by two listed companies, Serge Pun & Associates, one of Myanmar’s leading private conglomerates, and Yoma Strategic Investments and First Myanmar Investment.

Among the projects of the well-known company named the Yoma Central, Peninsula project is included. A company spokesman said on May 21 that the Yoma Central project had been suspended and that all parties concerned were still determined to restart the project. Linn Mu-Holland, director of Group Corporate Affairs at the Hong Kong company, said the project was suspended last April. It is also mentioned that it was too early to say in detail what conditions needed to restart the project and that safety is a top priority. Until August last year, the company was expected to complete the project by 2022. The company’s annual report, released in March, said it was “extremely concerned” about the current violence and instability and would continue to assess the need for immediate response to long-term decisions on the project.

Source: Daily Eleven

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All domestic passengers will no longer need the COVID-19 test but will have to comply with other health standards

According to a statement from the Ministry of Health and Sports, all domestic passengers will no longer need the COVID-19 test and will have to comply with other health standards. According to the statement, passengers on domestic flights can apply for tickets at local ticket offices or at local ticket offices. You will be able to purchase regular flights without having to endorse online or in accordance with the health standards. Passengers may be exposed to suspected COVID-19 fever.

Whooping cough, sudden loss of odor, only those who are free of all symptoms and conditions, such as contact with an infected person within two weeks, will be allowed to go on a scheduled trip. Passengers are required to abide by local orders when the aircraft arrives in their respective cities. The COVID-19 medical check-up for passengers on rescue trips and domestic flights of state-owned Myanmar National Airlines (MNA) and International Myanmar Airlines (MAI) will be available at Yangon Airport Cargo Warehouse and N Health Laboratory, according to the airline.

Rescue flights operated by Myanmar National Airlines such as Bangkok. The COVID-19 medical examination for passengers on Singapore and domestic flights will start on 10 February in Yangon, Myanmar, near Sule Pagoda N Health Laboratory and Yangon International Airport; Inspections will be held at Cargo Warehouse on Pyay Road from 9 am to 11 am. For international passengers on domestic and international rescue flights of Myanmar International Airlines MAI and Air KBZ, Airport Cargo Warehouse on Pyay Road will be opened from 10 February. The RDT test for domestic trips will be available at N Health Laboratory and Tourist Burma Building.

Source: Daily Eleven

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State-owned Myanmar National Airlines and Air KBZ resume domestic flights from March 23

State-owned Myanmar National Airlines and Air KBZ will resume domestic flights from March 23. Starting from March 23, Myanmar National Airlines will fly to Mandalay, Sittwe, Thandwe, Kyaukphyu to Ann cities and also Myeik, Dawei, Nay Pyi Taw. It has flown flights to cities such as Myitkyina and announced flights on its Facebook page until March 31. Air KBZ Airlines announced Heho, Myitkyina, Dawei, Myeik, Lashio Flights to domestic cities including Sittwe and Thandwe will start on March 26, according to a statement from the airline. Air KBZ has announced flights from March 26 to March 31. The Yangon-Mandalay-Heho flight will be operated daily from March 26, according to a statement from the airline.

Air KBZ operates Yangon-Sittwe-Yangon flights twice a week. Yangon-Myeik-Yangon flight scheduled for Tuesday, Thursday, Saturdays and Sundays; Yangon-Mandalay-Kengtung-Mandalay-Yangon flight will be canceled on Wednesday. It will also fly on Fridays and Saturdays, and other domestic flights will be announced on the airline’s Facebook page. Tickets can also be purchased in person through Air KBZ’s website, mobile app and K7 Chatboot, including ticket agents. According to a statement from the Ministry of Health and Sports, all passengers on domestic flights will no longer need the COVID-19 test and will have to comply with other health standards.

According to the statement, passengers on domestic flights can apply for a ticket at a local ticket office or at a local ticket office. People will be able to purchase regular flights without any recommendation, either online or in accordance with the health standards. Passengers may be exposed to suspected COVID-19 fever; Whooping cough Sudden loss of odor. Only those who are free of all symptoms and conditions, such as contact with an infected person within two weeks, will be allowed to go on a scheduled trip. Passengers are required to abide by local orders when the aircraft arrives in their respective cities.

Source: Daily Eleven