Saturday, October 27, 2007

Myanmar airline to stop flights to Singapore

Reuters - Saturday,
October 27 SINGAPORE,

Myanmar airline Air Bagan will suspend flights to Singapore next month, travel agents said on Saturday, making it one of the first casualties of increased international sanctions against's Myanmar's military junta.

The airline, which is on a U.S. government blacklist because of its close ties to the junta, would stop flights to Singapore on Nov. 5, an agent at Singapore's New Shan Travel Service told Reuters, citing a memo the airline sent to travel agents.

The airline could not immediately be reached for comment.

Singapore, one of Myanmar's biggest investors, is under pressure from rights groups to use its economic clout to push the ruling generals down a more democratic path, after the junta's bloody crackdown against a monk-led revolt last month.

In an email to about 15 tour operators who sell Air Bagan tickets, Gopi Bala, Air Bagan's senior sales and marketing manager, said the U.S. sanctions had cut off the carrier's access to spare parts, Singapore's Today newspaper said on its Web site.

The final blow came this week when its banks in Singapore informed the airline they would "stop dealing with us for the time being", the paper cited Gopi as saying.

Washington has increased its sanctions against Myanmar's military rulers, but on Monday Singapore's foreign minister ruled out sanctions from Southeast Asian nations against Myanmar.

New Shan Travel Service also said passenger traffic on the Yangon-Singapore route had not been good.

No comments: