A new competitor to already established domestic players. Is this the first step of a privatisation of MIAT towards Bodi?
The Bodi group, one of the largest corporate conglomerates in Mongolia, is soon to launch its new flagship airline “Mongolian Airlines” which will operate domestic routes and become a direct competitor to Eznis Airways (owned by Newcom Group) and Aero Mongolia (owned by Monnis Group).
The move has been rumoured for the past few weeks but is only now being slowly confirmed by Bodi, it is thought that the airline will start with a single Fokker 50 (reg JU-8881, serial 20183) on lease from Nordic Aviation Capital which arrived in Ulaanbaatar on the 10th of November and increase its fleet over the coming year to 4 aircrafts.
Aero Mongolia, which used to be the domestic arm of MIAT before it was sold to the Monnis Group in 2001 (and started operations in 2003) also operates Fokers 50, it is assumed that Mongolian Airlines has chosen to operate the same type of aircraft to reduce maintenance costs and the need for a diversified inventory in Mongolia.
The move will bring back MIAT on the domestic scene and become a direct competitor to its old subsidiary company Aero Mongolia in the domestic flights market which has become increasingly competitive over the years with Eznis airways now in a dominant position as the largest airline to operate domestic routes.
Beyond the need for more domestic airlines, there is a very serious need for increased international routes. Mongolia is one of the most expensive countries in the world to fly to and suffers from an acute shortage of international flights to capital cities at reasonable hours, this seriously limits the economic growth of the country in addition to restricting flights in and out of Mongolia to the wealthiest classes.
If Mongolian Airlines becomes successful domestically, will it be allowed to branch out and offer international routes to Beijing, Seoul, Moscow and other lucrative routes or will they remain the premise of MIAT only.
It is further rumoured that the agreement between Bodi and MIAT, which effectively gives Bodi a foot (and possibly a leg) in the door, has been designed to place Bodi in a strong and advantageous position to make the most of the upcoming privatisation of MIAT in the coming years and obtain the state company at a cheaper price than it would otherwise pay in a fair auction process.
The Mongolian Airlines website will be launched on the 1st of december 2011 with more complete information.
Now that nearly every large corporate conglomerate in Mongolia has its own airline, when will MCS (the largest conglomerate of them all) join the game and launch its own airline (maybe a luxury private charter airline???)
Source : M.A.D. News