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Recently Myanmar Airways International has been awarded the highest 7-star safety ranking from AirlineRatings.com. The rating was awarded due to a recent audit by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) of Myanmar’s oversight of its airlines.
ICAO was created to promote the safe and orderly development of international civil aviation throughout the world. It sets standards and regulations necessary for aviation safety, security, efficiency, and regularity, as well as for aviation environmental protection.
Myanmar Airways International has a perfect safety record in the modern era and is an IOSA — the International Air Transport Association Operation Safety Audit — audited airline. MAI is the only recipient in Myanmar of the IATA Operational Safety Audit Program (IOSA) Operator. IOSA was first introduced in 2003 to curb the disturbing trend in airline accidents that could be attributed to simple processes and maintenance programs. Since it was introduced airlines that have completed IOSA have up to a three-fold safer safety record than airlines that do not do the audit.
The ICAO’s 32nd General Assembly in 1998 adopted a resolution to begin implementing the USOAP (Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme) from 1999. The programme was verified under the comprehensive systems approach for audit (CSA) in 2010. That same year, the ICAO conducted checks at airlines of member countries under the continuous monitoring approach (CMA) for the development of capacity and safety of the airlines. Myanmar passed the verification of the ICAO’s Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme in 2010. At the time, the ICAO team had asked Myanmar’s Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) to take some actions. In 2013, the team visited Myanmar to follow-up on the action taken on suggestions made by the ICAO Coordinated Validation Mission (ICVM). Myanmar passed with effective implementation (EI) of 65.92 per cent.
ICAO conducted a safety audit in Myanmar from 10 to 21 December 2018, under the ICAO’s USOAP. This visit was the third time an ICAO team conducts verification under the CMA in Myanmar and it was after this audit that Myanmar Airways International has been awarded the highest 7-star safety ranking from AirlineRatings.com.
The predecessor to MAI was Union of Burma Airways (UBA) founded by the government in 1948. UBA initially operated domestic services only but added limited international services to neighboring destinations in 1950. The name was changed to Burma Airways in 1972 and then to Myanma Airways in 1989 after the country was renamed from Burma to Myanmar. International services of Myanma Airways were transferred to MAI which was set up in 1993.
MAI was created as a joint venture between Myanma Airways and a Singapore based company. It had a management team of many former Singapore Airlines personnel and starts its services with a new Boeing aircraft, all-expatriate cockpit crews and improved training for flight attendants. In 2002 the airline obtained a new International Air Transport Association (IATA) airline designator codes and joined both IATA Multilateral Interline Traffic Agreement (MITA) and IATA Clearing House. In 2010 the KBZ group obtained an 80% share of MAI making it a local company and by 2014 MAI became a 100% complete member of the KBZ Group, a Myanmar national owned private company.
In addition to being a member of IATA Clearing House and IATA MITA, and the only recipient in Myanmar of the IATA Operational Safety Audit Program (IOSA) Operator. MAI has been awarded “2014 ASEAN Business Awards” as the National Winner (Myanmar) for Most Admired ASEAN Enterprise, ASEAN Centricity by ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC).
MAI aircrafts were operated by an internationally experienced team of skilled personnel. Safety and comfort of passengers have always been its first priority and to this date MAI has been able to keep 100% safety and accident free record in its aviation history and record book.
In July 2012, MAI signed agreement with Air France Industries for maintenance & engineering services, technical assistance on-site training and component support services. In April 2013, MAI has signed a code share and partnership memorandum of understanding the Korean Air and Asiana Airlines, in January 2014 signed a code share agreement with Malaysia Airlines. In November 2014 signed a code share agreement with Garuda Indonesia and in May 2017 signed a code share agreement with Sri Lankan Airlines. MAI and Royal Brunei Airlines also signed a code share agreement that came into effect on December 2017.
MAI flies between Yangon and Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Gaya, Kolkata and between Mandalay and Bangkok. MAI started its charter flight to Korea and Japan in March 2013.