Moderators: richierich, ua900, PanAm_DC10, hOMSaR

 
User avatar
newbief1yer
Topic Author
Posts: 644
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:35 pm

Hopping across Myanmar (Burma)

Sun Feb 17, 2019 8:27 pm

Image

Video Report

Golden Myanmar Airlines - Y5 505 - Yangon to Mandalay - ATR 72-600

Air KBZ 7704 - Nyaung U (Bagan) to Heho (Inle Lake) - ATR 72-600

Myanmar National Airlines UB455 - Heho to Yangon - ATR 72-600 (XY-AMM)

Hello A'netters. This trip report consists of the three domestic flights we encountered in Burma (Myanmar) -> Yangon to Mandalay; Bagan to Heho and then Heho to Yangon. All on ATR 72-600s and on three different domestic carriers. There will be a separate report on how we reached Yangon and back to London On BA and Cathay Dragon.

1. Yangon to Mandalay on Golden Myanmar Airlines

Whilst travelling around Burma, we needed to reach Mandalay from Yangon. There are a lot of overnight coach and train options, but given the time constraint, flying seems to be the best option for us. Flying, domestic Burma, is somehow monopolized amongst a few domestic carriers who run the daily routes between Yangon, Mandalay, He Hoe and Nyaung-U (Bagan), and have similar flight timings.

From the usual suspects, I chose the most affordable one and it also had a decent timing option. Even the cheapest ticket set me back around $100 per head! Quite significant given the distance and the general cost of living in Burma. That being said, there are not too many options that enable you to reach from Yangon to Mandalay within an hour so had to cough it up.

The booking process was simple and the online booking process was a breeze. All passengers details (passport and phone number) entered, paid using an international credit card and I was all done in 15 minutes. All domestic flights in Burma include a generous 20 Kilo baggage allowance along with a light snack on board. Most of the airlines fly fairly new ATR's on these routes with a few exceptions who fly the larger B737-800 on certain times of the day.


Image

Golden Myanmar Airlines - Y5505
Route: RGN - MDL
Flight Reg:XY-AJM; Delivered to GMA on May 2014
Aircraft Type: ATR 72-600
Seat: 9A
Flight time: 11:00 - 12:25 (11:31 - 12:52)
Actual flight time: 1Hr 21 Min
Distance: 330 Miles
Load: 100% load
4th Feb 2019
Booking details: Booked on www.gmairlines.com website for a total of $683 for 6 adults and 1 child tickets (Inclusive of 20 Kg check in allowance and snacks)
My Log book: 1st Flight on Golden Myanmar Airlines/ 1st flight on ATR 72-600 / 190th Total overall flight


Day before the flight, OCI was not possible. So will be checking in at the airport.

Once at the domestic terminal, I had realised that I had made a mistake in entering the details of our group. I had entered my mother in laws name twice and missed out on adding my sister in laws details. Yikes! But it was quickly resolved by paying Name change and no show fees of $30.

Arriving at Yangon Domestic terminal
Image

Yangon Domestic terminal
Image

Image

Packed and ready to go
Image

Check in desks for Golden Myanmar Airlines (GMA)
Image

The domestic terminal is quite a nice place to be. Spacious and not many people around.

Full flight today to putao via myintkyina and Mandalay. It was quite a unique experience to fly with an airline with only 2 aircrafts in their fleet. Flying them once, allowed me to travel on 50% of their fleet! :)

Heading towards security
Image

FIDS at RGN Domestic
Image

Surprisingly a very nice place to be; airside at RGN Domestic terminal
Image

There is our ride to Mandalay, actually it has just arrived from its morning Mandalay run
Image

Time to board
Image

Being bussed to the aircraft
Image

There she is, up close and personal
Image

Interiors
Image

Seating on this ATR
Image

Image

View from our seat -> the complete fleet of GMA :)
Image


Disembarked at 11 17 and roared towards the yangon skies at 11 30. Flight time of 1 hr and 20 min announced.

Snacks box served on the flight. The chicken bun was surprisingly tasty and my nephew even commented it was the best meal he had ever had!

Bye Bye Yangon (For now)
Image

Over Yangon
Image

Cabin view after take off
Image

Snacks on this sector
Image

It was a turbulent free Flight into mandalay. Landed at 12 50 and out of the airport by 13 10.

At Mandalay Airport
Image

Image

Baggage collection at Mandalay
Image

Image

Exiting the airport
Image

Image

Very ornate terminal building
Image

Verdict

Apart from a slight delay in the flight, this flight was perfectly acceptable. I really enjoyed the uniquness of flying on a niche airline and the on-board service was very good. A perfectly acceptable way to get from Yangon to Mandalay.


2. Bagan to Heho on Air KBZ


During the progress of our trip, we realised the road travel is not the best idea when you are travelling with your family, especially if they are older people and children involved. It was not too bad, but our trip from Mandalay to Bagan (4 hours) made us realise that we would be wasting a lot of time on road if we stuck to the original plan of also driving from Bagan to Inle Lake. Instead decided that we would fly from Bagan to Heho.

Looking at tickets, the cheapest available was around £65 per head. There were quite a few options and all of them between 8AM and 11 AM. We zeroed in on the Air KBZ option at 9:15. Another opportunity to fly with a new airline, this saving us over 7 hours of drive, compared to a 35 minute flight.

Booked via edreams as they were able to price me a non-refundable ticket which costed me around $170 less than the quoted price on air KBZ website. Speaking of which, it's a completely dated website. It just about works and you can manage to book yourself a ticket, I think. The proof is evident in their flight routing page which still shows their flight schedule since 2013! But from an airline perspective it must be a 'huge' airline in Myanmar with a fleet size of 7 aircrafts! :)

Air KBZ - K7704
Route: NYU - HEH
Flight Reg:XY-AJW; Delivered to Air KBZ on Jan 2015
Aircraft Type: ATR 72-600
Seat: 3D
Flight time: 09:15 - 09:55 (09:28 - 10:02)
Actual flight time: 34 Min
Distance: 124 Miles
Load: 56 out of 78 capacity.
8th Feb 2019
Booking details: Booked on www.edreams.net website for a total of $604 for 6 adults and 1 child tickets (Inclusive of 20 Kg check in allowance and snacks)
My Log book: 1st Flight on Air KBZ/ 2nd flight on ATR 72-600 / 191st Total overall flight


Image

Previous day, online check-in wasn't possible.

Day of the flight, experience at the airport was interesting to say the least. Everything was manual here nothing automated. Bags were weighed in manually, baggage tags attached and then manually dragged to the rear of the airport where it was dropped at the side of the aircraft.

The morning burst is a busy time here. Aircrafts usually turn around in 15 minutes after touch down. Our flight for today was a Mandalay to heho flight via bagan.

Arriving at Nyaung U (Bagan)
Image

Image

Domestic airport interiors
Image

Image

Check in desks
Image

Very basic check in desks for Air KBZ
Image

All our bags tagged and ready to be manually loaded onto the aircraft
Image

All other airlines here have a similar setup
Image

Heading to the departure area
Image

Immigration??
Image

I can see our bags loaded here :)
Image

They allowed me to get my swiss army knife as hand luggage!
Image

Hand written boarding pass, of course.
Image


There are around 9 flight between 8 and 11 am just to Heho. A similar number to Mandalay and Yangon.

There is a flight taking off or landing every 5 to 10 minutes at this time. For this size of an airport quite busy.

Our aircraft from Mandalay arrived early and we were going to be on a 4 year old ATR 72-600.

There was a slight delay in boarding and not sure why though. However, 20 minutes later it was …

…Time to board
Image

Image

An interesting plane spotting opportunity -> VT-VKR; A Dassault Falcon-2000DX registered to the Indian Company GVK Aviation. What was it doing here?
Image

Our ride to Heho
Image

Interiors
Image

Row 3
Image

View from our row
Image

More than acceptable leg space
Image


We were airborne by 9:30, 15 minutes behind schedule.
Flight time of 35 minute announced with a cruising altitude of 10000 feet.

Even on this short 35 minute flight they served us a pastry and drinks, to which my wife quipped, even BA do not serve us any complementary snacks on a 2 hour flight. Lol !

Over Bagan
Image

Tried my luck with a scratch card. Unlike Ryanair this was free! The first prize being a Ford SUV!
Image

Snack service on this short 30 minute flight
Image

En-route to Lake Inle
Image

Cabin view
Image

Tight galley area
Image

Approaching Heho Airport
Image


Rest of the short hop was perfect -> absolutely smooth and great scenery out of the window. And seats on this ATR was recline able ever so slightly.

Once touched down, Heho airport is a fun place to be. I shall let the pictures and videos do the talking. Long story short, there are no baggage carousel here, instead they just manually place the baggage at the terminal and its free for all!

..And we are here
Image

love the way everything is just basic here, but works well
Image

Image

Waiting for our bags. Who needs multi-level baggage conveyer belts. Pure muscle power here
Image

Image

There, I can see our bags being pulled in the cart
Image

Image

Heho Airport Arrivals
Image

Exiting the airport
Image

Image


Verdict

A slightly more polsihed serivce onboard Air KBZ as compared to our previous expernce with GMA. That being said, both of them were perfectly acceptable. Air KBZ was on time and their seats were ever so slitgly better. But for 30-60 minute it is hardly notciable. As long as the price and time is suitable, you should be fine with either of the two airline, so far.

3. Heho to Yangon on Myanmar National Airlines


Our final leg in Myanmar was from HeHoe (Inle Lake) to Yangon. We needed to reach back to Yangon on the 11th morning and we had quite a few options. Golden Myanmar Airlines, Air KBZ, Mann Yadanarpon Airlines and Myanmar National Airlines. All of them were in the range of $90-$110. All of them run a circular route in the mornings (Between Yangon, Mandalay, He Hoe and Nyaung-U (Bagan)) and they all fly relatively new ATR's

In the end I chose Myanmar National Airline as this was the cheapest of the 4 and also had great timings. It also had the easiest website to use.

Tickets were easy enough to book although I could only book a maximum of 6 tickets at a time, which meant that I had to book twice (6 in one PNR and an extra one for myself separately). Nevertheless, 15 minutes later I was all booked and done. Simple!

Image

Myanmar National Airlines - UB455
Route: HEH-RGN
Flight Reg:XY-AMM; Delivered to MNA on Dec 2018 (The newest aircraft in their fleet)
Aircraft Type: ATR 72-600
Seat: 12A
Flight time: 10:00 - 11:05 (10:20 - 11:20)
Actual flight time: 1 Hr
Distance: 268 Miles
Load: 100 % load
11th Feb 2019
Booking details: Booked on www.flymna.com website for a total of $614.50 for 6 adults and 1 child tickets (Inclusive of 20 Kg check in allowance and snacks)
My Log book: 1st Flight on MNA / 3rd flight on ATR 72-600 / 192nd Total overall flight


We reached Heho airport with lots of time to spare. Once again all manual baggage handling facilities over here. Although the baggage tags and boarding passes were all printed this time. It depends on the airline and Myanmar national airline seems to be one of the biggest carriers in Myanmar and hence we get upgraded service of printed boarding passes.

Heho Airport Departures Terminal
Image

Image

Image

9 check in bags please
Image

Yup, all here
Image


It's a busy time at Heho airport. There were back to back ATR's parked here whilst we were there, including the entire fleet of Golden Myanmar airlines. :)

Heho Airport departure area
Image

Image

Doesn't look like an airport, does it?
Image

The entire fleet of GMA here, at Heho :)
Image


Our aircraft from Mandalay landed by 9 45 and we were boarded and disembarked by 10 15 and airborne by 10 20. Flight time of 1 hr and 10 minutes announced.

This aircraft interior looked the best of the 3 carriers we flew on this trip. It was spotlessly clean and the faux leather seating was very comfortable. The aircraft was kept at quite a cool temperature.

Time to board
Image

Image

ATR 72-600's galore
Image

Love the Livery :)
Image

Image

Interiors
Image

Lovely leather seats on this aircraft
Image

Very comfortable seating on this aircraft
Image

Reading material on board
Image


This was yet another full flight to Yangon.

I really liked the uniform of the crew on this flight. Very classy and elegant.

Once on board I realised that this (XY-AMM) was Myanmar national airlines newest aircraft delivered to them on 20 December 2018.

This ATR felt a lot quieter whilst take off and cruising. Are there any modifications done to the newer ATR ? This felt like an entirely new aircraft type and the quietness was drastic and quite easily noticeable.

After take-off from Heho
Image

Flying on MNA's latest aircraft
Image

A very well presented snack box for this short hop
Image

Image


This airline was quite noticeable that they are the premium airline in Myanmar. From the printed boarding passes to the faux leather interiors, it just felt a lot more upmarket than the other 2 airline we tried. They even had 3 fa on board as opposed to 2 on the other airlines of the same aircraft type, although the Seats were not recline able on this aircraft.

Snack box and drinks round commenced and was quickly completed. The retrieval of cups and boxes was also done quickly giving us enough time to relax before the final descend. And we Landed at 11 20.

En-route to Yangon
Image

Approaching Yangon
Image

Back at Yangon
Image

Sighted the rare ATR 72-500; the only one in MNA's fleet
Image

Bussed to the terminal
Image

Image

Ah! Finally getting to see some baggage carousel :)
Image

Image

Exiting the airport
Image

Shuttle bus to International terminal
Image

Verdict

Probably the best of the 3 domestic carriers we tried during our trip across Myanmar. Flying on their latest aircraft might've helped along with having 3 FA's as compared to 2 on the other airlines. The seats were much better and the entire experience felt a bit more upmarket than the other two.

But TBH, for such a short hop, it does not make too much of a difference. As long as the price and time suits you, you would be fine with any of these 3 airlines in Myanmar. Perfectly safe and acceptable way to get around when in Myanmar

That concludes this edition of the report. Another report on how we get to Yangon and back to London soon. Hope you liked this one. Comments and feedback welcome.

Until next time, happy and safe flying.

Adios!


Sights during our trip

Chauk Htat Kyi Pagoda sleeping Buddha
Image

Ngar Htat Gyi Pagoda
Image

Sunset at Yangon
Image

Scott Market
Image

Shwedegon Pagoda
Image

Mandalay Palace by night
Image

Boats on the Irrawaddy river
Image

U-Bein Bridge sunset
Image

Mandalay Palace
Image

Burmese Wedding
Image

Bagan
Image

Sunset at Bagan
Image

Sunrise at Bagan
Image

Inle lake
Image

Image

Image

Image

Kakku Pagoda
Image
 
lychemsa
Posts: 1863
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:39 pm

Re: Hopping across Myanmar (Burma)

Sun Feb 17, 2019 9:50 pm

Did you like Myannar? Did you need to take Malaria pills? How was the weather? Thanks.
 
debonair
Posts: 3763
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2004 10:50 pm

Re: Hopping across Myanmar (Burma)

Sun Feb 17, 2019 11:43 pm

Great TR, always a pleasure to read from such exotic airlines and places. :thumbsup:

Good choice of airlines, as most airlines from Myanmar folded in the last weeks like AsianWings, AirMandalay, APEX Airlines, FMI Air, AirBagan...
 
User avatar
newbief1yer
Topic Author
Posts: 644
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:35 pm

Re: Hopping across Myanmar (Burma)

Mon Feb 18, 2019 8:14 am

Hi Lychemsa.
Yes we enjoyed our trip across Myanmar. I was pleasantly surprised that it was quite a traveler friendly place. The roads are not the best but I have seen worse in other parts of Asia (India, namely). Food gets a bit monotonous after the first 4-5 days though. There is only so much 'curry' you can intake.
No, did not take Malaria pills. Although I did fall ill (Flu, fever, cold), I think mainly due to heat exhaustion.
Weather was hot, between 30-35 degrees during the day and around 25 during night time.

Thanks Debonair. Glad you liked the report.
Yeah, I have heard of those now defunct airlines. Although, there still are quite a few airlines to choose from.
 
User avatar
A333MSPtoAMS
Posts: 339
Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 3:18 pm

Re: Hopping across Myanmar (Burma)

Tue Feb 19, 2019 3:53 am

Great job! I was there in 2013 and enjoyed my time. I spent 4 weeks traveling around the country and did 2 domestic flights. I used Air Mandalay and Yangon Airways. Flying in Myanmar is definitely a unique experience! I loved the hand written boarding cards and the bag tags. Also the lack of domestic security. I'm excited to go back and see how things have changed over the past few years.
As of Dec 2019 I've flown 457,440 miles on 270 flights on 54 airplane types with 60 airlines traveling thru 104 airports. I've visited 60 countries.
http://cronkflies.com
 
jasoncrh
Posts: 765
Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2005 10:29 pm

Re: Hopping across Myanmar (Burma)

Tue Feb 19, 2019 3:57 am

I loved my trip to Myanmar two years ago. I had a lot of these experiences in the same domestic airlines. There’s no way in hell I’d go there these days, given all the horrendous news about the way the government and military treat miniritiesvin that country. Just when it seems like things were turning around the government and suu kyi ruined it. I wouldn’t support that country these days.
 
User avatar
alecdplotkin
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Sep 27, 2017 5:24 pm

Re: Hopping across Myanmar (Burma)

Tue Feb 19, 2019 4:50 pm

Fantastic photos and trip report.
 
User avatar
newbief1yer
Topic Author
Posts: 644
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:35 pm

Re: Hopping across Myanmar (Burma)

Wed Feb 20, 2019 8:32 am

Thanks A333MSPtoAMS. Yeah, don't think much has changed, especially in the smaller airports.
Thanks jasoncrh. Agree, in fact, I saw Suu Kyi and her convoy when we were departing from Heho airport to Lake Inle. It is in my video report.
Thanks alecdplotkin
 
User avatar
newbief1yer
Topic Author
Posts: 644
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:35 pm

Re: Hopping across Myanmar (Burma)

Wed Feb 20, 2019 8:32 am

Previous Trip Reports

Christmas and New Years at Croatia - 2018
Birthday trip to The Ice Hotel - Swedish Lapland
Part 6 (Final) trip to Kyrgyzstan - Back from Bishkek to London via Istanbul
Part 5 trip to Kyrgyzstan - Air Astana from Urumqi to Bishkek via Astana
Part 4 trip to Kyrgyzstan - Air Arabia from Mumbai to Urumqi via Sharjah
Part 3 trip to Kyrgyzstan - IndiGo from BLR to BOM
Part 2 trip to Kyrgyzstan - Jet Airways from Dubai to Bengaluru via Mumbai
Part 1 trip to Kyrgyzstan - Virgin to Dubai on A340-600 (G-VNAP)
Weekend trip on Austrian to Vienna - A321-100
Oman Air - London to India and back - A333 & B738
Part 5 - Long way to Vietnam - Return from Shanghai on BA B77W Club World
Part 4 - Long way to Vietnam - China Southern - Hanoi to Shanghai
Vietnam Domestic on Vietjet
Part 2 - Long way to Vietnam - Vietnam Airlines A350 to Saigon - Business Class
Part 1 - Long way to Vietnam - BA to Shanghai - Club World
Weekend trip to Budapest on FlyBe (SEN) and BA (LHR)
Part 4 - KLM from Beijing to London via Amsterdam - B787-9 & ERJ190
Part 3 - Spring Airlines - Seoul Incheon to Shijiazhuang - Airbus 320-200
Part 2 - Korea Domestic on Korean Air and Jeju Air
Part 1 - London to Seoul on KLM? No. Air France? No. Korean Air?
Part 5 - Canadian Escapades - Vancouver to London - BA A380-800 - Club World
Part 4 - Canadian Escapades - Edmonton to Vancouver - WestJet B737-800
Part 3 - Canadian Escapades - Toronto to Calgary - Air Canada B767-300ER
Part 2 - Canadian Escapades - Quebec to Toronto - WestJet Encore Dash8 Q400
Part 1 - Canadian Escapades - London to Montreal - BA 787-8
Weekend in Bilbao - BA A320 - Photo + Video Report
Cambodian Escapades - China Southern B787, A321 and A320
Domestic Cambodian Escapades - Sky Angkor - KOS-REP - A320
Weekend in Zurich - Swiss and BA (Club Europe) - Airbus 320-200
Weekend at Cinque Terre - BA to Bologna - Airbus 320-200
Journey to the East (Part 5, Final) - BA B747-400 (Club World)
Journey to the East (Part 4) - China Eastern A321-200
Journey to the East (Part 3) - Etihad 5th Freedom Route
Journey to the East (Part 2) - BA, JAL, Etihad, China Eastern
Journey to the East - BA, JAL, Etihad, China Eastern
Norwegian And Air Baltic To ARN And RIX
London To Muscat On Gulf Air - A332 And A320
Part 4:India Domestic-9W, AI, SG On A321,B737,Q400
Part3: Phuket To India - Bangkok Airways -A320-200
Part 2:Thailand Domestic -Nok Air And Thai AirAsia
Part 1:Qatar Airways - Thailand And India
Part 3:BA Club Europe - LCA-LHR - Boeing 767-300
Part 2:Blue Air - Athens-Larnaca - Boeing 737-400
Part 1: Aegean Air - LGW-ATH-JTR - A320-200
Ryanair London(STN) To Lake Como (BGY)
Weekend In Belfast - Aer Lingus A319-100
BA First - PEK To LHR - Mid J B747-400
China Railway (CRH) - Video Report - SJW - Beijing
BA CW - Upper Deck To Beijing - High J B747-400
LAN Dreamliner (J) Experience - MAD FRA
Weekend In Trondheim - DY/SK - Boeing 737-800/600
Baltic Escapades - VNO/TLL/RIX On W6,BT And OV
South France - EasyJet A320 BA A319
UK To India - The EK Way - B777-200/300 & A380
India Domestic–Jet Airways And Indigo–A320/ATR 72
BA A320/321 - LHR To Berlin TXL - Christmas Day
China Southern - LHR-CAN-HKT - B787/A321
Cool Blue To BOS And Got Blue? To LAS - E190 A320
Mahalo Hawaii, Hello NYC - DL B767-300
Aloha! The United Way - B777-200 And B737-900
VS Little Red To ABZ And EZY Return
24 Hours On A 787! - Final Leg CZ - AKL-CAN-LHR
Part 5 - BHE-WLG-AKL On NZ Beech1900D And A320
Part 4 - MEL-AKL-ZQN On QA And NZ B738\A320
Part 3 - CNS-MEL On JetStar A321-200
Part 2 - SYD - CNS On Virgin Australia E190
Canton Route Part 1 - LON-SYD - CZ DreamLiner/A332
DREAM(liner)ING Of Hainan - China Southern
Panda Calling - BA LHR To CTU - Club World
China - The Low Cost Way - Spring Airlines - SJW-CTU
China United Airlines (KN) - CTU - SJW - B737-700
Norwegian B737 - LGW-TOS-BGO-LGW
Jet Airways: LHR – COK
Barra Trip – that was not to be
Dusseldorf Calling - BA & EZY - Club/Eco - A321
Part 5: PVG-LHR - BA - Economy - B777
Part 4A&B - SHA-SJW-SHA - FM: Eco: B737
Part 3A&B : DXB-HKG-PVG: CX & KA :Eco: A333
Part 2: KWI-DXB - FlyDubai - Economy - B737
LHR - KWI - BA 747 - Part 1 - Middle East -China
Morocco Trip - LGW-RAK-TNG-LHR - EasyJet & Iberia

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 12 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos