Taiwan-based EVA Airways has made a provisional proposal to take a controlling stake in loss-making Myanmar Airways International (MAI).

EVA says it could provide the manpower and expertise which Yangon-based MAI lacks, and support the cost of expanded operations. EVA believes there is strong potential for growth in the Myanmar market and has been carrying out due diligence at MAI since October.

EVA plans to take around 50% of MAI from its Singapore-backed joint venture partner, Highsonic Enterprises, which now owns 60% of MAI. The remainder is held by government-owned domestic carrier Myanmar Airways.

MAI has suffered from the Asia-Pacific economic crisis, which has led to the closure of routes to Dhaka, Kunming and Jakarta. EVA is examining returning MAI's two Boeing 737-400s and re-equipping the airline with four 112-seat British Aerospace 146 regional jets.

Meanwhile, EVA is to begin codesharing with America West on 30 November. The agreement gives its passengers direct access to Las Vegas and Phoenix, and allows EVA to extend its code on to four America West routes linking Los Angeles and San Francisco to Phoenix and Las Vegas.

On 28 November, the Taiwanese carrier is to drop its Kaohsiung-Singapore route, reassigning the Macau service. EVA says that the route from Kaohsiung had become consistently unprofitable, while it had been unable to meet demand on its MD-90 service to Macau. The MD-90 will undergo D-check maintenance before transfer to EVA subsidiary UNI Airways.

Source: Flight International