Published on Tuesday, 03 September 2013 23:26
Thailand's Nok Air launched its maiden flight from Mae Sot to Mawlamyine on Sunday carrying mostly Thai businessmen looking to boost regional tourism.
The plane carried 33 passengers from Mae Sot and landed at Mawlamyine Airport around 10 am and flew back to Mae Sot thirty-eight minutes later with one passenger.
"As Nok Air has landed here before, there weren't any difficulties. We are trying to gradually upgrade the airport," said Soe Paing, an official from Mawlamyine Airport.
Ms. Suwarnam, one of the Thai passengers, said that it was her first time to fly to Mawlamyine and she was very happy to receive a warm welcome from the local people.
"The airport building is too small. It needs to be upgraded as this area will become developed commercially. Many Thai people are planning to come here," said Ms. Suwarnum.
"I am visiting here for three days to learn about making investment and joint venture. I will visit the traditional medicine hospital, the museum, the industrial zone and Hpaan [in Kayin State]. It won't be long before we can visit here without any visa requirements like in other ASEAN countries. The respective department will do this gradually," said Mr. Misparniti, a Thai entrepreneur and adviser to the Thai government.
Although three passengers had planned to take the flight back to Mae Sot with NOK Air, only one passenger was allowed on board the plane.
The manager of the airline's Mawlamyine branch office said they apologise for leaving the two passengers due to misunderstandings. The airline has rented a car to take the passengers to Myawaddy and requested the aid of local authorities for them to continue to Mae Sot.
Nok Air also connects Mae Sot to Yangon with a daily service.
The Nation reported that Thai businessmen were enthusiastic about Myanmar's economic prospects and this service would facilitate trade and investment in Mawlamyine.
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