Name : Captain Than Tun
Position : Chief Executive Officer
Captain Than Tun, with 36 years of experience in Airline industry, is now leading the Myanmar National Airlines as the Chief Executive Officer. He is leading the organization, setting objectives and implementing major plans to grow the airline business by expanding its flight network and aiming for the best operational objectives.
Captain Than Tun had served as a transport pilot in the Burmese Air Force (BAF) in 1979. He later joined the Department of Civil Aviation as a Director. In 2006, he was appointed as a General Manager of Myanmar Airways and in the year of 2012, he was promoted to be the Managing Director. In late 2014, Myanmar Airways under Government control was successfully corporatized into Myanmar National Airlines and Captain Than Tun was promoted as the Chief Executive Officer. Under his leadership, the ATR Fleet maintenance organization was developed, the airline was rebranded and the quality control aspects were reformed.
Captain Than Tun recently expanded both the domestic and international routes. MNA introduced four Boeing 737-800 NG and six Boeing 737-800 MAX aircrafts for the international destinations and six ATR 72-600 for domestic destinations.
Myanmar National Airlines has started fly to 28 domestic destinations and five international destinations; Singapore, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Gaya and Chiang Mai.
Captain Than Tun graduated from Defence Services Academy (DSA), attended Leadership Training course from GE capital aviation services and successfully passed the Safety Management System (SMS) for Senior Management course from International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Please explain to our reader about Myanmar National Airlines.
Myanmar National Airlines is flag carrier of Myanmar and is third oldest airlines in Asia. Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airline is first and Philippine Airlines is second.
Myanmar National Airlines began as the Union of Burma Airways (UBA), inaugurated on September 15, 1948. In 1993, after joint venturing with foreign companies, the name was changed to Myanmar Airways International. Myanmar Airway flew to local destinations and MAI flew to international destinations.
In 2012-13, it came out of National Budget and operates with own-budget till today. Normally private airlines fly to international routes such as Singapore, Bangkok. But as a flag carrier of Myanmar, MNA fly to 28 domestic destinations including big cities such as Mandalay, Yangon and small cities such as Putao and Mongsat. It has been almost one year since we started flying to Singapore. We have been flying to, in total, five international destinations; Singapore, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Gaya and Chiang Mai.
What are your primary responsibilities?
My primary responsibilities are to provide the best airline service to Myanmar people and change the Government-staff mind-set.
What kind of assignments is your team currently undertaking?
To become a member of International Air Transport Association (IATA), we had tried almost two years with the cooperation of foreign experts. IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) already came in and they had audited our procedures in March 2015.
For heavy repair of ATR aircrafts, foreign ATR engineers and local engineers have been working in collaboration since April 2014. European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is going to audit our procedures again in October 2016. Currently, ATR aircrafts can be maintained by local engineers under the supervision of foreigner experts. If we sent the aircraft overseas and repair in a foreign country, the costs would be substantial. We can now reduce the maintenance expenses.
What is your target market segment?
It is difficult to say. Aviation market in Myanmar is really competitive. There are lots of local airlines as well as foreign airlines. More and more airlines are coming into Myanmar.
Who do you think are your competitors and how are you planning to compete against them?
As I already mentioned, aviation market is really competitive and we can say all airlines are competitors. Our focus areas are safety, security and punctuality. We are always ready to provide for the needs of customers.
What are the long term objectives of MNA?
As a flag carrier of Myanmar, we are the image of Myanmar. We will maintain the image of a Myanmar airline.
What are your future expansion plans in Myanmar and internationally?
Myanmar National Airlines’ future destinations are China, Indonesia, Korea, Japan and all around the world.
What is MNA’s unique selling point compared to other global brands in the local market?
Customer can feel the nature of Myanmar upon entering the airplane. We try our best for the customer service and safety. For the unique selling point to compare to the global brands and local market, we are a premium airline as well as a national airline. Our services are Mingalapar service, Airstream UB, Online and application for conveniences to book the tickets and royalty program (FFP) that has been launched and brand new Boeing 737-800 aircrafts for local and international routes.
What are your current CSR activities?
Last year, we helped and transported food and relief supplies to Kalay, Namsam cities which suffered from flood.
How do you train your staff to control the quality of MNA?
MNA’s HR department provides English language training, personal development, customer service and IT training.
From a business standpoint, what do you feel are the biggest challenges facing you and your team in Myanmar in next 1-3 years?
We can say we rank number one for domestic destinations. We are a premium airline. For international destinations, we need to compete with lots of lowcost airlines.
What is your opinion on the market potential of Myanmar current tourism sector?
Myanmar tourism sector is booming up. Six years ago, there are only 230,000 tourists. There are around 600,000 tourists last year. In this year we are expecting close to 1 million.
If you could give a suggestion to improve the aviation field of Myanmar, what would it be?
To improve the aviation field of Myanmar, the Government should support and keep flag carrier of the country alive. Myanmar nationals should choose the flag carrier of country for air transportation.