Air Bagan was launched in November 2004 as Myanmar’s first privately owned airline, and since then has played an increasingly important role in the country’s travel and tourism industry. In November 2012 the Air Bagan family celebrated its 8th anniversary of success by holding a Soon Kyway food offering ceremony to monks in the morning and in the evening, 9000 oil lamps were lit on the Shwedagon platform. The members of the Air Bagan family prayed for the good health, success and prosperity of the company, the staff and its valued customers.
The next day, an open-air dinner held on the grounds of the Yangon United Football Club Complex in Yangon’s Hlaing Township.
The guests – including members of the diplomatic corps, the media, staff from other airlines, staff from other sectors of the hotel and tourism industry, ticketing agents, celebrities, and of course the Air Bagan family – began arriving by 6pm. The stage and dining area were beautifully decorated, and numerous flower baskets given as gifts from well-wishers added their colours and fragrance to the festive air.
The festivities began at 6.30pm with a dance by the Air Bagan staff, trained by Stars and Models’ CEO John Lwin. The dancers, dressed in red, performed beautifully. Next, Managing Director U Htoo Thet Htwe gave a welcoming speech in which he thanked the honoured guests and members of the Air Bagan family, saying that no endeavour can succeed without the united and dedicated teamwork of all employees.
The success of Air Bagan, he continued, is proof of the strength of the Air Bagan family as a whole, led by Chairman and the vice chairmen. Air Bagan, he said, is a dedicated Customer Care Airline and earned ISO9001-2008 certification in June 2012. As the success of Air Bagan is due to the diligence and skill of employees – including pilots, engineers, cabin and ground crews of all levels, administrators, accounting department staff, and others – they should enjoy more benefits such as incremental rises in salary. He announced that a chance for employees to share in the profits with ownership of stocks and shares is being planned in consultation with the HR department and financial experts.
After U Htoo Thet Htwe’s speech, a short video clip was shown highlighting the airline’s achievements during the past eight years. Air Bagan has many “firsts” among its long list of achievements. In addition to being Myanmar’s first private airline, it was the first domestic carrier to use a jet, introduce business class, use a wide-body craft, train and employ women pilots, introduce a Frequent Flyer Program, offer E-ticketing, offer Code Share facilities, offer charter services, and last but not least, produce a regular in-house newsletter on safety with news, articles, tips, methods and the latest information.
Staff members are also regularly sent abroad for training sessions. Air Bagan also has a strong commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility and has donated cash and kind towards many social causes, including natural disaster relief and other emergencies, support of orphanages, and organising Buddhist rituals on religious days.
After the video, the celebration officially began with a toast of champagne, led onstage by Chairman and honoured guests. More songs and dances followed, while the guests thronged the long buffet tables to enjoy a wide variety of dishes.
Prizes were also given to ticketing agents who have shown the most support for Air Bagan, with Sun Far topping the list of six winners. The lucky draw results were announced and Daw Phyu Phyu Aung from the Accounts Department won the first prize of two days in Chaing Mai. Daw Hnin Hnin Ei of Admin won the second prize of a Sony Bravia 32-inch TV, while Daw Ei Ei Khin, a Cabin Crew member, took the third prize of an LG 32-inch LCD TV.
The guests were entertained with songs by top stars Zaw Win Htut, Pyu Pyu Kyaw Thein, Alex, Chit Kaung, Aung La and Wine Su Khne Thein. To the delight and surprise of everyone, Myanmar’s top classic rock bands Iron Cross and Emperor took the stage together, playing and singing side-by-side just like they used to years ago. They were joined at times by Chairman who sang and led the audience in song.
In tune with what is happening in the international entertainment field, guests and professional singers joined to sing and dance “Oppa Gangnam Style”, and a merry time was had by all.