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 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.[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 in 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]

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
Air KBZBagan, Bhamo, Heho, Kalemyo, Kengtung, Khamti, Myitkyina, Naypyidaw, Sittwe, Tachileik, Thandwe, Yangon
Charter: Imphal[4]
Air ThanlwinBagan, Bhamo, Heho, Kalemyo, Kengtung, Lashio, Myitkyina, Naypyidaw, Tachileik, Yangon
China Express AirlinesTianjin,[5] Zhengzhou
Juneyao AirlinesNanjing
Kunming AirlinesKunming[6]
Loong AirChengdu–Shuangliu, Hangzhou[7]
Mann Yatanarpon AirlinesBagan, Heho, Kengtung, Myitkyina, Tachilek, Thandwe, Yangon
Myanmar Airways InternationalBangkok–Suvarnabhumi, Kengtung, Myitkyina, Taipei–Taoyuan,[8] Yangon
Seasonal charter: Fuzhou, Hangzhou,[9] Hefei, Jinjiang, Linyi, Nanchang,[10] Yantai
Myanmar National AirlinesBhamo, Chiang Mai (begins 26 March 2023),[11] Kalemyo, Kengtung, Khamti, Loikaw, Myitkyina, Naypyidaw, Pakokku, Sittwe, Tachilek, Thandwe, Yangon
Ruili AirlinesMangshi[12]
Thai AirAsiaBangkok–Don Mueang
Thai SmileBangkok–Suvarnabhumi
West AirChongqing[13]

According to the official website, after the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2021 Myanmar coup d'état, the only international airlines operating from Mandalay are Myanmar Airways International, operating flights to Suvarnabhumi Airport and Thai AirAsia, operating flights to Don Mueang International Airport. Domestic airlines such as Myanmar National Airlines, Air KBZ, and Air Thanlwin are still operating domestic flights.

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 an expansion capacity of more than 15 million.[14] 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][15]

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][14]

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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

Passenger facilities[edit]

As of 2018, these facilities exist at the airport:[16]

  • 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


Top destinations[edit]

Busiest flights out of Mandalay by flight per weekly, As of 28 August 2022.[17]
Rank Destinations Frequency (weekly)
1 Myanmar Yangon 26
2 Myanmar Myitkyina 20
3 Myanmar Tachilek 13
4 Thailand Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi 7
5 Myanmar Kalemyo 6
6 Myanmar Hkamti 4
7 Myanmar Bhamo 3
8 Myanmar Keng Tung 3
9 Thailand Bangkok–Don Mueang 3
10 Myanmar Sittwe 3

Traffic by calendar year[edit]

Passengers Change from previous year Landings
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
2018 1,403,571 Increase06% 22,926
2019 1,814,496 Increase029% 27,234
2020 129,973 Decrease01297% 4,110
Source: [18]

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.[19] The previous operator was Myanmar's Ministry of Transport. In August 2013, the vendor technical team started the inspection of the airport[20] 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 from Yangon, carrying 82 passengers and seven crew, was approaching Mandalay International Airport when the front landing gear was unable to be extended. An emergency landing was conducted without the front landing gear. No injuries were sustained in this accident.[21]


See also[edit]

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. ^ "Imphal-Mandalay flight from November 23". NorthEast Today. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  5. ^ "China Express adds Tianjin – Mandalay service from May 2019". Routesonline.
  6. ^ Liu, Jim (1 October 2019). "Kunming Airlines begins Myanmar service from Oct 2019". Routesonline. Retrieved 1 October 2019.
  7. ^ "Loong Air adds new international routes in Dec 2018". Routesonline.
  8. ^ "Myanmar Airways International adds Mandalay – Taipei route in Jan 2020". Routesonline.
  9. ^ Liu, Jim. "Myanmar Airways International adds Hangzhou service in 3Q19". Routesonline. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
  10. ^ "Myanmar Airways International expands China service in August 2019". Routesonline.
  11. ^ "Myanmar National Airlines Adds Mandalay – Chiang Mai From March 2023". Aeroroutes. Retrieved 9 March 2023.
  12. ^ "RUILI AIRLINES RESUMES MANDALAY SERVICE IN LATE-JAN 2023". Aeroroutes. 26 January 2023. Retrieved 26 January 2023.
  13. ^ "China West Air adds Chongqing – Mandalay from July 2019". routesonline. Retrieved 12 June 2019.
  14. ^ a b "Quiet Debut for Mandalay Airport". Bangkok Post. 21 September 2000. Retrieved 2 April 2007.
  15. ^ "MANDALAY INTL". World Aero Data. Retrieved 2 April 2007.
  16. ^ "MJas | Mandalay International Airport". Retrieved 12 July 2021.
  17. ^ "Live Flight Tracker - Real-Time Flight Tracker Map".
  18. ^ "MJas | Mandalay International Airport".
  19. ^ "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.
  20. ^ "Eleven Media Group Co., Ltd". Eleven Media Group Co., Ltd.
  21. ^ "Passenger plane makes emergency landing in Mandalay, no one hurt". The Myanmar Times. 13 May 2019.