Big brother warns MAI on Taiwan plans

Myanmar Airways International plan to operate a new service to Taipei, but the airline’s chairperson claims its efforts have been blocked by the Chinese government.

Eleven Myanmar channel news quoted MAI chairperson, Tin Muang Htun, as saying that the plan to fly to Taipei stalled because the Chinese government would not agree to the move.

This could not be independently substantiated. Relations between China and Taiwan have warmed in recent years with airlines flying hundreds of flights weekly between mainland China and Taiwan.

The chairperson added: “Thai Airways International and Malaysia Airlines are stronger than we are. We are just beginners. We haven’t received any support from our government, and we also face other political and economic problems.”

“Currently, although we want to, we can’t fly to Taipei, where there is huge potential to sell travel to Myanmar. To fly to Taipei, approval from the Government of China is needed, and we cannot get it.”

His comments suggested that China has a say in which airlines can file for rights to serve Taiwan, but permission to fly would normally be in the jurisdiction of the Taiwanese civil aviation authorities.

The Civil Aeronautics Administration, Ministry of Transportation and Communication (CAA) is a government agency of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications of the Republic of China which is responsible for the regulation of all civil aviation activities in Taiwan.

However, the airline chairperson may have been hinting at behind the scenes pressure from mainland China rather than an outright refusal by China to support the airline’s decision to fly to Taiwan.

MAI currently offers direct flights to South Korea, Japan, Bangkok, Malaysia, Singapore and Gaya.

Source : TTR Weekly