martedì 8 marzo 2011

Air Bagan to Fly Twice Weekly from Phuket to Burma

Tourism News Phuketwan Tourism News

One big, happy family: Now you can fly Air Bagan to 'Happy Land'

Air Bagan to Fly Twice Weekly from Phuket to Burma

Tuesday, March 8, 2011
AIR BAGAN is planning to launch two direct flights a week between Phuket and the old capital of Burma that remains its biggest city, Yangon.

A small group of representatives from the privately-owned Burmese airline and its Thai agents met Phuket media in a conference that had to be postponed until this afternoon because of the tour bus crash on Patong Hill.

What was not revealed at the gathering is the fact that the airline is owned by Tay Za, a man who is seen as a crony of the repressive ruling military junta.

Anyone who flies Air Bagan to Yangon or who takes a tour package to resorts owned by Tay Za is supporting the generals. While elections last year created the impression that Burma is moving towards democracy, many observers believe it's all a sham.

The Rohingya are still stateless and treated appallingly. Democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi may be free, but her actions are severely contained, and many of us have still not forgotten the brutal put-down of the monks' ''saffron revolution'' in 2007.

For those who wish to overlook such matters and contribute to tourism that will line the pockets of a friend of the generals, Air Bagan will begin flying from Yangon to Phuket at 3pm on Mondays and Fridays, returning from Phuket at 7pm on both days, from April 11.

It's a two-hour trip on a twin-engined, 92 seat Fokker. Air Bagan expects a mix of about 50/50 expats and Thais to try the service.

Because of its special connections, Air Bagan is able to offer a visa-on-arrival service for $30 with two photos for non-Thais. Thais need to allow 28 days to process a visa through the Burmese embassy in Bangkok.

Packages that also take in tourist attractions begin at 19,900 baht for four days, three nights, and 21,900 baht for five days and four nights.

Air Bagan has yet to open its Phuket office, so we don't have an address or even a telephone number we can give you.

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