If you’re looking to travel around Myanmar on a comfortable airline at an affordable price – well... affordable by local standards! – check out Myanmar National Airlines. The quality of the service is high and the airline has regular promotions and discounts.
Myanmar National Airlines is the oldest airline in Myanmar. The company was established in 1948 as the Union of Burma Airways, which later became Burma Airways and rebranded with its current name in 2014. The airline is based in Yangon and has a fleet size of 21 that flies 31 domestic and international routes.
The safety record of this airline isn’t as good as others in Myanmar. The predecessor of Myanmar National Airlines, Burma Airways, has a very poor safety record with several fatal accidents. The current airline still has a poor record. Two fatal accidents occurred in 1998. More recent incidents include a plane overshooting the runway in 2009 and a minor collision in 2017.
Routes Served by Myanmar National Airlines
Myanmar National Airlines offers the widest range of flights linking Yangon to most of the smaller airport in the country.
Two daily direct flights link Yangon to Mandalay. A non-promotion price is around USD110 and the flight takes one and a half hours.
There is one daily flight from Yangon to Nyaung U (Bagan) for USD110 and a duration of one hour.
Three daily flights head from Yangon to Heho (Inle Lake). Direct flights are less than USD100 and take just one hour.
Myanmar National Airlines also serve international destinations. There are two daily flights between Yangon and Bangkok. Despite the greater distance compared to domestic destinations, the price is reasonable USD90.
Other international destinations served by the airline include:
Thailand (Bangkok and Chiang Mai)
Cheaper flights when you find a promotion
Comfortable and clean aircraft
Easy to get flight information at the airport
Planes are relatively new
Provides food and free water
Offers in-flight entertainment
The service isn’t as good as other airlines
Flight cancellations aren’t uncommon
The airline reschedules flights and only notifies passengers via email
Safety record isn’t as good as other airlines
Keep in Mind
As of 2015, the Mingalabar Service is offered to business class passengers. This includes a priority check-in, fast track through security and immigration, and better amenities. A limo service is also available to and from the airport for an extra fee.
Flights from Yangon to Bagan leave at 6.30 am in the morning. You’ll need to leave your hotel at around 4.30 am.
The ticket prices tend to be more budget friendly compared to other local and regional airlines operating within Myanmar.
Inflight entertainment is available and you can stream it via a wireless connection to your own laptop. This isn't offered on any other domestic flights in Myanmar.
Many travellers report that Myanmar National Airlines are reliable and cheaper than other companies. They have a lot of regular promotions and it is sometimes possible to secure a ticket between Yangon and Heho for just USD52. The same ticket on a different airline would be almost double that.
There have been reports of a sudden cancellation of the flights almost at the last minute. Travellers had an experience with Mandalay–Hong Kong flight being cancelled but the airline paid for their hotel and put them on their next flight to Hong Kong. If you connect further, though, it is evidently a major inconvenience as the onward ticket with any other airline will not be reimbursed.
In general, travellers agree that Myanmar National Airlines have great cabin crew, decent food, and a top class service. It’s always a great experience for the overwhelming majority of travellers.