Mandalay International Airport

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Mandalay International Airport

မန္တလေး အပြည်ပြည်ဆိုင်ရာ လေဆိပ်
Mandalay Airport.JPG
Airport typePublic
OwnerGovernment of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar
OperatorMitsubishi Corporation, JALUX Inc., SPA Project Management Ltd. (for 30 years bid)
Mandalay Region, Myanmar
Opened17 September 2000
Elevation AMSL91 m / 299 ft
Coordinates21°42′08″N 095°58′41″E / 21.70222°N 95.97806°E / 21.70222; 95.97806Coordinates: 21°42′08″N 095°58′41″E / 21.70222°N 95.97806°E / 21.70222; 95.97806
MDL is located in Myanmar
Location of airport in Myanmar
Direction Length Surface
ft m
17/35 14,003 4,268 Concrete
Statistics (2017)
Passengers1,320,945 Increase[1]
International passengers477,922[1]
Capacity3 million passengers per year[2]
Mandalay International Airport viewed from the car parking area

Mandalay International Airport (Burmese: မန္တလေး အပြည်ပြည်ဆိုင်ရာ လေဆိပ်; (IATA: MDL, ICAO: VYMD)), located 35 km south of Mandalay in Tada-U, is one of only three international airports in Myanmar. Completed in 1999, it was the largest and most modern airport in the country until the modernization of Yangon International Airport in 2008. The airport connects 11 domestic and seven international destinations. Its 4,267 m (13,999 ft) runway is the longest runway in use in Southeast Asia and has the capacity to handle up to 3 million passengers a year. The airport is the main operating base of Golden Myanmar Airlines.[3]


The Mandalay International Airport project was first conceived by the Burmese military government in the mid-1990s as a way to increase overall levels of foreign investment and tourism in Myanmar. With Yangon boasting the only other international airport for the whole country, the new Mandalay airport was regarded as crucial in achieving a planned 10% annual passenger growth. The hope was for Mandalay to become a hub for flights to other major Asian cities, in particular Beijing, Hanoi, Bangkok, Kolkata and Dhaka.[3]

Construction of the airport began in 1996, and the airport was officially opened in September 2000 at a cost of US$150 million replacing Mandalay Chanmyathazi Airport near the city. The project was financed through a long-term loan from the Thai ExIm Bank.[citation needed]

Due to the political reforms in Myanmar, the airport experienced an increase in traffic, especially daily flights to Bangkok and to China. Since 2010, domestic passenger traffic through Mandalay has been increasing by 20% every year, while growth in international flights has been up to 60% annually.[citation needed]

On 16 November 2014, a consortium of Mitsubishi Group and an affiliate from Japan Airlines signed a concession agreement with the Myanmar government to operate the airport for 30 years. The joint firm undertook the operation, rehabilitation and maintenance of airport facilities, including terminal buildings and the airport's sole runway, excluding air traffic control, with operations having begun around March 2015. The agreement's main focus is to generate further expansion of domestic and international flights to Mandalay and to increase passenger traffic through the airport.[2]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Myanmar National Airlines Boeing 737-800 at Mandalay International Airport
9 Air Changsha, Guangzhou, Guiyang[4]
Air KBZBagan, Bhamo, Heho, Kalemyo, Myitkyina, Tachileik, Yangon
Charter: Imphal[5]
Asian Wings AirwaysBagan, Heho, Yangon
Bangkok AirwaysBangkok–Suvarnabhumi, Chiang Mai
China Eastern AirlinesHangzhou, Kunming, Shanghai–Pudong,[6] Wuhan[7]
China Express AirlinesTianjin,[8] Zhengzhou
Donghai AirlinesNanjing,[9] Nanning, Shenzhen[10]
Golden Myanmar AirlinesBagan, Bhamo, Heho, Kengtung, Myitkyina, Tachilek, Thandwe, Yangon
Hainan AirlinesHaikou, Shenzhen[11]
JC International AirlinesMacau, Phnom Penh[12]
Juneyao AirlinesNanjing
Kunming AirlinesKunming[13]
Loong AirChengdu–Shuangliu, Hangzhou[14]
Mann Yatanarpon AirlinesBagan, Heho, Kengtung, Myitkyina, Tachilek, Thandwe, Yangon
Myanmar Airways International Taipei–Taoyuan,[15] Yangon
Seasonal charter: Fuzhou, Hangzhou,[16] Hefei, Jinjiang, Linyi, Nanchang,[17] Yantai
Myanmar National AirlinesBhamo, Kalemyo, Kengtung, Khamti, Loikaw, Myitkyina, Naypyidaw, Pakokku, Tachilek, Thandwe, Yangon
Qingdao AirlinesChangsha, Lanzhou, Nanjing, Nanning, Nantong, Ningbo, Quanzhou,[18] Tianjin[19][20]
Ruili AirlinesMangshi
Sichuan AirlinesChongqing,[21] Hangzhou,[22] Kunming, Xi'an[23]
Singapore AirlinesSeasonal: Singapore (begins 2 November 2021)[24]
Thai AirAsiaBangkok–Don Mueang
Thai SmileBangkok–Suvarnabhumi
West AirChongqing[25]
XiamenAir Xiamen
Yangon AirwaysBagan, Bhamo, Heho, Kalemyo, Kengtung, Lashio, Myitkyina, Naypyidaw, Tachileik, Yangon

Airport facilities[edit]

Opened on 17 September 2000, the terminal building can handle 1,000 passenger arrivals and 1,000 passenger departures per hour. The capacity of the airport is estimated to be 3 million passengers per annum, with expansion capacity to more than 15 million.[26] The site occupies a total area of 10,123 hectares and is located in central Myanmar about 35 kilometres (22 mi) south of Mandalay near the town of Tada-U. The journey from the airport to the city center of Mandalay takes approximately an hour by car.[3][27]

The concrete runway at Mandalay Airport is 4,267 metres (13,999 ft) long and 61 metres (200 ft) wide, and long enough for any size of commercial aircraft to land. The car park accommodates 700 vehicles.[3][26]

The terminal is fitted with air conditioning, fire protection and emergency power generating systems. It is also equipped with six passenger lifts, one freight lift, three escalators and a baggage handling system. Three out of the six passenger boarding bridges can handle modern Boeing 747-8I aircraft. There is sufficient space for ten aircraft to anchor, and at a rate of 8 minutes per plane, aircraft of any size and make can touch down or take off to any destination abroad. MAGS (Mandalay Airport Ground Services) provides both passenger and cargo aircraft ground services.

Systems incorporated into the airport include VHF and HF SSB transmitters and receivers, a voice communication control system, an automatic terminal information system (ATIS), and an aeronautical fixed telecommunications network. The air traffic control tower is equipped with a variety of radar and navigation systems.

Passenger facilities[edit]

As of 2018, these facilities exist at the airport:[28]

  • 36 check-in desks
  • 8 gates
  • 6 air-bridges
  • 3 baggage claim belts
  • 11 short-term parking spaces
  • 6 long-term parking spaces
  • Post office and bank
  • Bureau de Change
  • Restaurants and VIP lounges
  • Duty-free facilities
  • Newsagent/tobacconist
  • Travel agency, tourist helpdesk and car rental

MJAS Air Cargo Terminal[edit]

All international airlines based in Mandalay[who?] are able to transport cargo/freight to any destination across the globe using connections at each of the airlines' way points. Cargo warehouse handling is operated by MK Hercules Co., Ltd (MMH), a joint venture between MK Co., Ltd in Hiroshima, Japan and Hercules Logistics Co., Ltd, in Myanmar.[citation needed]

Mandalay International Airport is expanding rapidly and is expected to become an important cargo hub in Central and Upper Myanmar.[citation needed]


Top destinations[edit]

Busiest flights out of Mandalay by flight per weekly
Rank Destinations Frequency (weekly)
1 Myanmar Yangon 108
2 Myanmar Heho 53
3 Myanmar Myitkyina 35
4 Myanmar Tachilek 29
5 Myanmar Nyaung U 24
6 China Kunming 16
7 Myanmar Kalaymyo 15
8 Thailand Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi 12
9 Myanmar Khamti 10
10 Thailand Bangkok-Don Mueang 8

Traffic by calendar year[edit]

Passengers Change from previous year Movements
2011 528,193 17,926
2012 610,969 Increase016% 19,059
2013 794,432 Increase030% 22,590
2014 938,901 Increase018% 24.598
2015 1,016,549 Increase08% 25,446
2016 1,171,753 Increase015% 25,184
2017 1,320,945 Increase012% 25,073
Source: [29]

Operator changes[edit]

Airport operations and maintenance are handled by a joint venture of Mitsubishi Corporation, JALUX Inc., and SPA Project Management Ltd., which won a bid in 2013 to upgrade and operate the airport for 30 years.[30] The previous operator was Myanmar's Ministry of Transport. In August 2013, the vendor technical team started the inspection of the airport[31] to develop an airport Master Plan that included airport services and cargo-handling areas as well as anticipating future needs such as extending the airport's buildings.[citation needed]


On 12 May 2019, Myanmar National Airlines flight 103, carrying 82 passengers and seven crew members, departed from Yangon International Airport and was approaching to Mandalay International Airport when the pilot was unable to extend the front landing gear. The aircraft landed as an emergency landing without the landing gear nose. No injuries were sustained in this accident.[32]


External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Mandalay International Airport". Retrieved 6 October 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Japan firms to run Mandalay airport". Kyodo News. Bangkok Post. 17 November 2014. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d "Mandalay International Airport (MDL/VYMD)". Airport Technology. Retrieved 2 April 2007.
  4. ^ "9 Air schedules international debut in October 2018". Routesonline.
  5. ^ "Imphal-Mandalay flight from November 23". NorthEast Today. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  6. ^ "China Eastern plans Shanghai – Mandalay launch in Jan 2019". routesonline. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  7. ^ "China Eastern adds Wuhan – Myanmar service from late-May 2019". Routesonline.
  8. ^ "China Express adds Tianjin – Mandalay service from May 2019". Routesonline.
  9. ^ "Donghai Airlines adds Nanjing – Mandalay service from Feb 2019". routesonline. Retrieved 24 January 2019.
  10. ^ "Donghai Airlines adds Myanmar service from July 2018". routesonline. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  11. ^ "Hainan Airlines adds Haikou – Mandalay from late-June 2019". Routesonline.
  12. ^ "JC Cambodia Adds Macau-Mandalay Sector From July-2019". Routesonline. 28 June 2019.
  13. ^ Liu, Jim (1 October 2019). "Kunming Airlines begins Myanmar service from Oct 2019". Routesonline. Retrieved 1 October 2019.
  14. ^ "Loong Air adds new international routes in Dec 2018". Routesonline.
  15. ^ "Myanmar Airways International adds Mandalay – Taipei route in Jan 2020". Routesonline.
  16. ^ Liu, Jim. "Myanmar Airways International adds Hangzhou service in 3Q19". Routesonline. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
  17. ^ "Myanmar Airways International expands China service in August 2019". Routesonline.
  18. ^ "News for Airlines, Airports and the Aviation Industry | CAPA".
  19. ^ "Qingdao Airlines adds Tianjin – Mandalay from late-May 2019". routesonline. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
  20. ^ Liu, Jim. "Qingdao Airlines plans new international routes in 4Q19". Routesonline. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  21. ^ Ross, Don. "Sichuan expands Myanmar flights | TTR Weekly".
  22. ^ "News :: Routesonline".
  23. ^ 2018, UBM (UK) Ltd. "Sichuan Airlines adds Xi'An – Mandalay service in late-March 2019".CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  24. ^ "SilkAir continues its journey as Singapore Airlines". Singapore Airlines.
  25. ^ "China West Air adds Chongqing – Mandalay from July 2019". routesonline. Retrieved 12 June 2019.
  26. ^ a b "Quiet Debut for Mandalay Airport". Bangkok Post. 21 September 2000. Retrieved 2 April 2007.
  27. ^ "MANDALAY INTL". World Aero Data. Retrieved 2 April 2007.
  28. ^ "MJas | Mandalay International Airport". Retrieved 12 July 2021.
  29. ^ "MJas | Mandalay International Airport".
  30. ^ "Mitsubishi Corporation - Press Room - 2013 - Mitsubishi Corporation and JALUX Join Forces with Myanmar's SPA Project Management Ltd. in Bid to Operate Mandalay International Airport". Mitsubishi Corporation.
  31. ^ "Eleven Media Group Co., Ltd". Eleven Media Group Co., Ltd.
  32. ^ "Passenger plane makes emergency landing in Mandalay, no one hurt". The Myanmar Times.