Sunday, 02 March 2014 10:30

Mongolia's civil aviation and tourism sector to improve coordination

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Mongolian_Tourism_Association_LogoThe Tourism Association of Mongolia organized on February 12th, 2014 a conference between the Ministry of Road and Transportation of Mongolia (MRT), Mongolian Civil Aviation Authority (MCAA), all national airlines as well as tour companies.

The main purpose of the conference was to discuss the issues related to the transportation of tourists, improvement of coordination between airlines and tour companies.

 The MCAA announced its plan to create an alternate airport for Ulaanbaatar in Dalanzadgad town in South Gobi. Currently, those aircraft that are unable to land in Ulaanbaatar’s Chinggis Khaan Airport (ULN) due to mostly wind or poor visibility caused by Ulaanbaatar’s notorious smog are forced to divert and land in aerodromes of Irkutsk, Russia or Khokh-khoto, China.

The Head of Economic Regulations division, MCAA,  Mr.Erdenebileg Ts. introduced an ambitious project of Mongolian civil aviation for next decade. According to his presentation, Mongolia aims to become a connecting hub for the Europe and Pacific region, which in turn, also requires substantial increase of transit and fleet capacity.

Hunnu Air’s executive director Bayar B. announced that it will resume its flight to Shanghai (PVG) from June 2014 and possibly open a new route between Ulaanbaatar and Paris. The airline will also renew its fleet and eventually replace its Fokker-50 aircraft with ATR or Airbus by 2015-2017.

Aeromongolia airlines introduced their plan to fly to Korean city of Busan, while Eznis Airways announced the unification of its fleet with Bombardier Q-400 type of aircraft. Commercial director of Eznis Airways, Mr. Odbayar E., also notified tour companies that Dalanzadgad (DLZ) aerodrome, a popular hub for tourists travelling to Gobi, is unable to receive their Q-400 aircraft due to weight limitation until the aerodrome is not be upgraded, which is scheduled to finish in July, 2014.
With the increase of capacity, most airlines urged tour companies to increase the demand for air services.

After presentations by the MCAA and airlines, wide variety of issues was discussed. Tour companies expressed their frustration over the date when airlines publish their summer schedule. Usually the schedule and the prices of summer schedule are published in February or March of that year, which causes difficulties for tour companies trying to sell their services well in advance. Tour companies thus asked airlines to plan, finalize and publish next year’s summer schedule and price by October, November of previous year.

Tour companies also asked airlines to consider the possibility of equating the luggage limits on both international and domestic flights. For example, many passengers flying to Mongolia are allowed for up to 25 kg of luggage while in domestic routes this is limited to 15 kg.

Many participants found the conference and subsequent discussion useful and thanked the Mongolian Tourism Association for organization.