Boeing 737-800 in Myanma Airways' livery
Myanma Airways, the flag carrier of Myanmar, is planning to resume international operations after inking a lease deal with GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) for six Boeing 737-800s and four Boeing 737 MAX 8s.
“This is the biggest aircraft leasing arrangement in Myanmar history,” said Myanmar transport minister Nyan Htun Aung, announcing the deal at the Singapore Airshow.
State-owned, all-domestic operator Myanma, which suspended international operations in 1993, will use the aircraft to launch services to Japan. “Myanma is now going to re-enter the international market, with the support of GECAS, and become well known again in international air travel,” he said. “They used a Boeing 737 before, so this will be second time there has been 737s in Myanma’s fleet.”
The CFM-powered aircraft will be sourced from GECAS’ existing order book. They will be configured in a dual-class layout, with a business and economy cabin. The exact seating configuration is expected to be finalized by August 2014.
Deliveries will start in June 2015. Three 737-800s will be delivered to Myanma in 2015, followed by another two in 2016 and the final -800 in 2017. GECAS president/CEO Norman Liu did not give a delivery schedule for the MAXs, saying only that they will come “later in the decade” and that all the aircraft will arrive by 2020.
GECAS already has two Embraer 190s on lease to Myanma, which is based at Yangon International Airport and also operates two Fokker F28s, two ATR 72s, a single ATR 42, three MA60s and two Beech 1900Ds.
In addition, GECAS’ AviaSolutions consulting business signed a memorandum of understanding with Myanma. Under the deal, AviaSolutions will advise Myanma on its strategic growth plan, covering network development and marketing, as well as airport and infrastructure planning.