Lao Airlines eyes service to Yangon

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Lao Airlines is eyeing the possibility of serving Yangon, Myanmar, later this year.

The carrier has yet to decide on the flight frequency, but it intends to launch the service during the winter schedule, says its commercial director Saleum Tayarath.

"Our reason for opening the flight to Myanmar is not because we're specifically targeting passengers from Laos and Myanmar, but we're looking at the demand from other countries like China, the Republic of Korea (South Korea) and Japan," Tayarath was quoted as saying in the local media.

The airline in recent months launched four services from Vientiane - to Guangzhou, Da Nang, Seoul Incheon and Busan.

Lao Airlines has taken delivery of an Airbus A320 aircraft, and will receive an ATR 72-600 turboprop later this month. Tayarath says this has increased its number of A320s to four, and will raise its ATR 72 fleet to six.

Two of the four Xian Aircraft MA60 turboprops Lao operates have since been converted into freighters, Tayarath adds. He also did not rule out the possibility of converting more MA60s into freighters, or to use them as an operational back up.

Flightglobal's Ascend Online database shows that Lao Airlines now has four A320s, four MA60 and five ATR 72-500 and -600 turboprops. Lao will also receive three more ATR 72-600s in 2013 and 2014.