Published on Sunday, 01 September 2013 17:07
MA60 skidded off the runway on landing at Kawthaung Airport on June 10 (Photo-Shun Lei Win/EMG)
State-owned Myanmar Airways has planned to buy three French-made ATR72-500 aircrafts to replace three Chinese MA60 planes that have been grounded since last June after repeated brake failures, according to a source from Nay Pyi Taw.
For the first deal, Myanmar Airways has planned to buy the 5-year old ATR 72-500 MSN 787 from the Irish airline Aer Arann. It will cost US$12.5 million and need to be settled on the long term hire purchase, he said.
Three MA60 planes, which the sole national flag carrier bought from China on credit in 2011, earlier met with frequent problems in hydraulic system although they had just entered into service this year.
On May 16, an MA60 plane overran the runaway on landing at Monghsat airport in Shan State because of a brake problem, causing two serious injuries and substantial damage to the aircraft. Another MA60 skidded off the runway on landing at the Kawthaung Airport in Taninthari Region, leaving the plane’s wings damaged but no one injured.
After the two accidents, the state-owned company announced on June 11 that it has stopped operating all of the three MA60 aircrafts. Since then, Myanmar Airways faced shortage of aircrafts to cover domestic flights to 25 locations in Myanmar.
The carrier is now operating only eight airplanes and it is willing to promptly replace its idle Chinese planes, a market observer said.
However, since it received only about US$6 million from the insurance of one MA60 damaged at Monghsat airport, the airline will need additional capital to buy three more ATR72-500 planes, each worth average US$12.5 million, he said.