Speaking at the meeting, Vice President U Henry Van Thio, in his capacity as chairman of the committee, said that the direct air route would be a part of the northern Buddhism Tour. He referred to the meeting between the State Counsellor and Nepalese leaders during her trip to Nepal in November, and said that Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand, and Laos could cooperate in arranging pilgrimage tours between ASEAN countries, taking advantage of the important sites in Buddhist countries. If the countries can establish direct air links, package tourism can flourish, said the Vice President. Myanma Airways International (MAI) operated Yangon-Siem Reap-Yangon, Yangon-Phnom Penh-Yangon, and Yangon-Siem Reap-Phnom Penh-Yangon flights from 2011 to 2014. When the Cambodian deputy prime minister visited Myanmar in March, 2017, the two sides agreed to promote ‘Angkor-Bagan, Two ancient capitals-One Destination’ tour. The Action Plan to implement the agreement was signed by the two countries at the Cambodia Tourism Fair in November, 2017. Following the meeting, the vice president also held a meeting with Myanmar authorities in October and in November, 2017, and coordinated with the departments concerned to implement the flight. As a result of the meeting, the Mandalay International Airport was upgraded to equip it to handle international charter planes. UAE’s Emirate Airlines also launched an air link between Myanmar and Cambodia in July, 2017, but the operation halted on 1 June, 2018. Similarly, Cambodia based JC International Airlines launched the Phnom Penh-MacaO-Mandalay-MacaO-Phnom Penh route on 15 August 2019 every Tuesday and Friday. Vice President U Henry Van Thio said he met with Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen during his visit to Cambodia in November and during the call, Mr Hun Sen expressed his willingness to operate a direct air-link between the two famous ancient cities of Bagan and Siem Reap. The new air link is not aimed at just development of tourism but also for strengthening the friendly relations between Myanmar and Cambodia, said the vice president. —MNA (Translated by Kyaw Zin Lin) Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar
THE National Tourism Development Central Committee held a meeting yesterday in Nay Pyi Taw on implementing a direct air-link between Bagan and Siem Reap, Cambodia, as part of the northern Buddhism package tour.