MAI - Myanmar Airways International (8M, Yangon) is planning to add one A319-100 and three A320-200s to its fleet by the end of 2019 as it gears for substantial international expansion, Commercial Director Tanes Kumar told Flightglobal in an interview.

According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, MAI currently operates three A319s. Its first A320-200, XY-ALJ (msn 3242), is undergoing predelivery maintenance in Woensdrecht. The carrier operated a single A320, msn 973, through December 2018.

Using the new aircraft, the Myanmarese carrier plans to more than triple its network to 25 routes. The expansion will cover, among others, more charter flights to China, as well as an increase in domestic capacity.

The ch-aviation schedules module shows that MAI currently operates from Yangon to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi, Singapore Changi, Kolkata Int'l, and Guangzhou. Flightradar24 ADS-B data indicates that the airline also operates charter flights from Mandalay Int'l to Hangzhou, Fuzhou, Hefei, and Nanchang. The airline also operates domestic services between Yangon and Mandalay.

Going forward, MAI plans to deploy its narrowbody jets on more trunk domestic routes between Yangon, Mandalay, and Naypyitaw. This will be done in cooperation with its domestic sister carrier Air KBZ (K7, Yangon), which currently operates three ATR72-500s (including two inactive) and nine -600s (including one inactive).

Kumar, who also serves as the Commercial Director of Air KBZ, said that the domestic carrier plans to retire the remaining ATR72-500s and replace them with -600s shortly.

"Where would we like to get to, maybe double digits in terms of fleet size both for MAI and Air KBZ. We don't mind looking at 10 to 12 ATRs in two to three years time, and maybe eight to 12 aircraft [for MAI]," Kumar said.

In the long term, the two airlines will aim to operate "as a single company", although they will continue to have two separate AOCs. Currently, MAI codeshares with Air KBZ on all domestic routes, including the Yangon-Mandalay service operated by MAI. There is no codeshare in place on the carrier's international routes.