29 January 2003
NEWS FROM ATF 2003
PHNOM PENH - In a move that could prove a landmark
decision for Myanmar, Bangkok Airways and Myanmar 's
tourism ministry were in talks yesterday on linking the
Mekong's two heritage jewels, Angkor Wat and Bagan, with
President and chief executive of Bangkok Airways, Dr
Prasert Prasarttong-Osoth was in the InterContinental Phnom
Penh yesterday to discuss the route.
He told TravelWeekly Myanmar had called the
meeting and he was uncertain of the exact nature of the
Asked when the flights may begin, he said, "They have
allowed us to fly. But I don't know yet."
Director general for Myanmar's Directorate of Hotels
& Tourism, Khin Maung Latt, told TravelWeekly
that Myanmar's government was keen to build the link.
"My minister is talking to Bangkok Airways today. We are
in discussions to link the two ancient cities of Bagan and
"Given agreement, if approved, we could implement it in
one or two months," said Khin. Bagan's airport was ready,
Khin said that his department would be ready to promote
the route once it came online.
He also confirmed that Bangkok private carrier PB Air is
demonstrating interest in Bagan. "PB made eight charter
flights to Bagan this month." Bagan is the jewel in
Myanmar's crown in terms of heritage sites, and buyers at
ATF riding the growing wave of interest in heritage and
culture in the Mekong region will no doubt grab the
opportunity to feed passengers on from Angkor.
In an interview at last year's ITB, Dr Prasert confirmed
his desire to do for Bagan what his company had begun for
Angkor Wat, when it launched the direct route from
"We want to combine the Wonders of the World. We are
talking to the Myanmar government to renovate Bagan, in the
same way as we spoke to the Cambodian government to
renovate Angkor Wat.
"Angkor is 700 years old, Bagan is 1,300 years old, Xian
is more than 2,000 years old. If we can link this triangle,
culture lovers will save them."