The Air traffic volume between Myanmar and China this year was up 94 percent as of November compared with the whole year of 2006, said a high-ranking Myanmar civil aviation official Tuesday.
U Tun Hlaing, director-general of the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA), made the remarks at a ceremony of the China Southern Airlines in celebration of its becoming a member of the Sky Team Alliance (STA) and the opening of its Yangon Office.
He attributed the increase in the traffic volume between the two countries to the advent of the new cooperation of the China Southern.
He said the China Southern's becoming of the STA will also enhance incoming traffic from China to Myanmar.
He continued to say that Myanmar and China have close relations and cooperation in air transport not only on bilateral basis but also on regional basis as ASEAN's dialogue partner and also as members of the Greater Mekong Subregion Cooperation.
The China Southern opened Guangzhou-Yangon-Guangzhou air route in July this year.
Becoming the third Chinese airline that flies Yangon using 120-seat Airbus A-319, the China Southern is currently operating thrice weekly services.
With the inauguration of flight services by the Hong Kong Express Airways between Hong Kong and Yangon in early November this year, the number of Chinese airlines flying Myanmar has come to four.
Myanmar-China bilateral air transport relations started as early as in 1955 when an air transport agreement between the two countries was signed. Under that agreement, Air China (formerly CAAC) has been operating scheduled services on the Beijing-Kunming-Yangon-Kunming-Beijing route since 1956 and is currently operating thrice weekly services.
In 2002, China Eastern Airlines (formerly Yunnan Airlines) began operating its Kunming-Mandalay-Kunming route and the airline is currently operating four weekly services on that route.
In 2006, a new bilateral air service agreement to be in line with international air transport development and to reflect liberalized air transport regimes was signed in Beijing.