Burmese businessman Aung Ko Win, owner of the Kanbawza Bank, has formed a domestic airline that is expected to compete directly with Tay Za's Air Bagan, according to the Rangoon weekly Myanmar Post.
Quoting Rangoon travel agency sources, the journal said the new airline would be named Air Inlay.
|“Come fly with me.” Young women will soon also be lining up to work for a new domestic Burmese airline that will compete for business with tycoon Tay Za's Air Bagan. (Photo: AFP)|
Aung Ko Win, also known as Saya Kyaung, is a longtime associate of the junta's No 2, Vice Snr-Gen Maung Aye. When Maung Aye was the commander of the Eastern Regional Military Command in Taunggyi, southern Shan State, Aung Ko Win was a main supplier of goods for the regional command headquarters. He also owns a soccer club, Kanbawza FC.
Business sources in Rangoon say the family of Minister of Industry-1 Aung Thaung is also involved in the new airline.
Aung Thaung's son Pyi Aung is married to Maung Aye's daughter Nandar Aye. Pyi Aung and his brother Nay Aung are directors of IGE Co Ltd and are said to be even wealthier than Burma's reputedly richest tycoon, Tay Za.
IGE Co Ltd is a supplier of substation and transmission line materials, oil and gas, as well as running CNG filling stations for government projects and the recently licensed Amara Bank.
“Since early May, IGE has been looking for new staff who have graduated in business administration for the new airline, offering good pay,” said a Rangoon businessman who spoke on condition of anonymity.
According to The Myanmar Post, Air Inlay will use aircraft from Myanmar Airways International (MAI). Earlier this year, Kanbawza Bank bought an 80 percent stake in MAI.
Air Inlay will have to compete with Tay Za's Air Bagan. Tay Za is close to the junta chief Snr-Gen Than Shwe and his family, who have invested heavily in the tycoon's group of Htoo companies, which include Air Bagan.
While Than Shwe’s family is closely involved in Tay Za’s business interests, Maung Aye’s family members are associated with IGE, Kanbawza Bank and their sister companies.
But not only the families of the two top generals are involved in big business. The sons of the junta's No. 3, Gen Shwe Mann—Aung Thet Mann and Toe Naing Mann—are also active within Tay Za’s group of Htoo companies.
Another tycoon, Zaw Zaw of Max Myanmar Co Ltd, is close to the junta secretary 1 Gen Tin Aung Myint Oo, who is also Quartermaster-General of the armed forces, according to businessmen in Rangoon. Tin Aung Myint Oo’s son, Nay Lin Oo, is also a successful businessman.
The junta’s budget holder, Lt-Gen Tin Aye, the chief of Military Ordnance and head of the military-run Union of Myanmar Economic Holding Ltd also has a businessman son, Zaw Min Aye, who is involved in media and export-import businesses. He was controversially granted an executive copyright for publicizing and televising the 2010 World Cup.