Air KBZ, or Air Kanbawza, is a domestic airline in Myanmar based in Yangon. Popular routes take passengers between the major destinations on the tourist trail including Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay, and Inle Lake as well as to other cities in Myanmar.
The company started and flew their first flight in October 2010 and from then onwards, the size of the fleet increased to the current eight active aircraft. There are three ATR 72-500 aircraft and five ATR 72-600 twin-engine turboprops. Each row has two seats and the flight is relatively comfortable.
The main terminal Air KBZ operates from is Yangon International Airport with their second base being in Mandalay.
Routes Served by Air KBZ
Air KBZ connects a range of destinations in Myanmar with the most popular route from Yangon and Mandalay, which is the fastest way to cover the distance between the two cities. Typical routes are below with an estimated duration and ticket price in USD:
Yangon to or from Mandalay – 1 hour 25 minutes - USD105
Yangon to or from Heho (Inle Lake) – 1 hour 10 minutes - USD100
(Bagan) Nyaung U to or from Yangon – 40 minutes - USD80
(Bagan) Nyaung U to or from Heho – 40 minutes - USD80
(Bagan) Nyaung U to or from Mandalay – 30 minutes - USD60
Mandalay to Heho – 30 minutes - USD60
Air KBZ is starting to introduce international flights directly from Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, India, and China. The information is currently not available on their official website.
Tends to depart on time
Online booking is available
Regular promotions on flight tickets
Staff has a reasonable command of English
Basic meals are provided on short domestic flights
Website is difficult to use
Not much legroom and seats are uncomfortable
No in-flight entertainment
Check in tends to take a long time
Unexpected price hikes can happen even after paying for the ticket
Important Things to Keep in Mind
Not all the flights are direct
There may be only a few routes each day
You may be faced with difficulties when booking the ticket
Flights can be changed at short notice
You may be responsible for checking that the flight time hasn’t changed
Flights between Yangon and Mandalay are the most popular routes
Compared to other airlines, Air KBZ tends to be more budget friendly for domestic routes.
The majority of reviews for Air KBZ are positive stating that the flight was more comfortable and better than expected for a domestic route in Myanmar. Some, however, disagree and claim that the price is too expensive for what they actually get.
Travellers mention that the seats are relatively good, the planes are as old as expected, and meals provided onboard are rather basic. Overall, the majority of travellers are pleased with the service and level of comfort of KBZ Air and think this is one of the best domestic airlines to travel with in Myanmar.
That said, delays are quite common and check-in can be quite chaotic with unclear instructions concerning the boarding gate. It often leads to a mad rush to try to make the flight. Travellers also forewarn that there is no place to refill water at the airport and no free water is provided onboard – but this is true to all the airlines in Burma.
In general travellers recommend not to expect much as what you get is the level of service and quality as any other typical budget airline provides – with the remark that in Burma you are paying more.