Japanese carrier buys into Myanmar airspace

The Japanese carrier is to pay 2.5 billion yen ($25 million) to purchase the stake. The purchase represents the first time a foreign airline has invested in a Myanmar-based commercial airline.

Firms have been keen to enter Myanmar, seen as a key growth market, after political reforms led to the lifting of international sanctions. ANA resumed flights between the two countries in October last year after a twelve-year hiatus.

"ANA intends to capture an increasing share of the fast-growing Asian airline market and this investment in AWA will support that strategic goal," the airline was quoted as saying by the AFP news agency. "As part of the investment, ANA will also work with AWA to improve its operational and on-time performance and support its expansion into markets outside Myanmar."

AWA was launched in 2011 and currently operates domestic flights to all major tourist destinations in Myanmar. According to the company's website, it plans to "extend its wings to regional destinations through scheduled flights as well as chartered ones".