Tay Za Forms New Airline
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Saturday, October 23, 2021

Tay Za Forms New Airline

By WAI MOE Thursday, October 7, 2010

Tay Za (second from right) toasting members of climbing expedition to Northern Burma (photo: Air Bagan)

Burmese tycoon Tay Za who is targeted by US sanctions has formed a proxy airline with the name of Asia Wing and his other airline, Air Bagan, has increased flights to neighboring Thailand in 2010.

Businessmen in Rangoon said Tay Za will manage Asia Wing through an associate company, Sun Far Travel and Tour Co Ltd., a well-known travel agency in Burma, thereby avoiding the financial flow and insurance problems of his first airline, Air Bagan, which has been affected by targeted sanctions from the US and EU.

A leading private journal in Rangoon, The Weekly Eleven, reported about Asia Wing airline in this week's edition, quoting other travel agencies and airlines in the country.

“As far as I know, the airline is called Asia Wing,” an official with a domestic airline told the weekly, adding that it was uncertain whether the name was final. The journal said the airline will use newly-purchased aircraft from the European Airbus consortium.

A businessman in Rangoon who spoke on condition of anonymity said he learned from both Tay Za's Htoo Company and Sun Far that the new airline will begin running on domestic routes before extending to international routes.

“By using a proxy airline, Tay Za can buy new planes for both the proxy airline as well as Air Bagan, which is scheduled to extend its international routes,” he said.

When The Irrawaddy contacted Sun Far's Rangoon office, an official confirmed that the company will run Asia Wing, but declined to comment on the company’s relationship with Tay Za.

Information about Tay Za’s proxy airline began to leak from Rangoon’s business community in June. Rangoon businessmen said US sanctions were causing problems in transferring funds and insurance for Air Bagan and the US Treasury Department's powerful global electronic blocking had also prevented Tay Za’s from purchasing more aircraft for Air Bagan.

The US announced targeted sanctions on senior junta officials and their family members and associates like Tay Za and other businessmen following the brutal crackdown on mass demonstrations in September 2007.

The sanctions targeted other Tay Za businesses such as Myanmar Avia Export Co Ltd, Ayer Shwe Wah Co Ltd in February 2008.

“We are tightening financial sanctions against Tay Za, an arms dealer and financial henchman of Burma’s repressive junta,” said Adam J. Szubin, then director of the US Treasury Department.

After the crackdown on the September 2008 demonstration, Air Bagan faced a consumer boycott in addition to US sanctions. Both sanctions and the boycott affected Tay Za as Air Bagan was forced to suspend its international routes from Rangoon to Singapore and Bangkok in November 2007.

However, Tay Za re-launched Air Bagan’s international flights to Thailand’s northern city of Chiang Mai in January, flying twice a week.

Later the airline vowed it will extend its routes from Rangoon, flying to Bangkok and Phuket (Thailand), Siem Reap (Cambodia), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Kunming (China) and Singapore in the peak season this year, according to the The Myanmar Times weekly in Rangoon.

The junta, meanwhile, praised Tay Za and other cronies hit by sanctions as most honorable persons and often highlighted them in state ceremonies and the media.

On Sept.1, The New Light of Myanmar, ran a front-page story with a picture of Tay Za alongside Prime Minister Thein Sein in a report honoring participants in government construction projects in the Cyclone Nargis-hit Irrawaddy delta.

Photos and the names of other cronies such as Zaw Zaw, of the Max Myanmar group of companies, Htay Myint of Yuzana Company and Aung Thet Mann, son of the junta No.3 Shwe Mann, who are on the US sanctions target list appeared on the newspaper's inside pages.

Tycoon Tay Za is close to junta supremo Snr-Gen Than Shwe and has been accused of doing business for the general’s family. Tay Za and other Burmese tycoons such as Zaw Zaw accompanied Than Shwe, his family members and government officials on a state visit to China in September.

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Marty Myanmar Wrote:
I have a lasting memory of flying Air Bagan back from Bangkok, when it was still able to fly that route. It was one of the worse international flights that I ever took. The stewardresses were rude and talking about their boyfriends, and relationships with other businessmen, they snarled at us for the slightest request. I never took Air Bagan again.

So I am not really confident that the new airline is gonna do that well as they will use the staff from Air Bagan. Also maybe Sun Far people know something that we don't!

KKK Wrote:
Let's add Sun Far on sanction list.

George Than Setkyar Heine Wrote:
I know one of the siblings of Sun Far's owner, a US educated individual and we are quite friendly.
And all Burmese staff working at Sun Far office are dear to me as well. Also, the old owner is also quite a good person.

I think Sun Far has been duped into ganging up with Tay Za. In the long run Sun Far stands to lose everything some day when Tay Za's empire crumbles together with Than Shwe's, which will be sooner rather than later.

Sun Far has come a long way to reach this point, so going after a quick fix and get rich short cut will not serve Sun Far in the long run.

Things will get dicey soon and I fear Sun Far would be akin to a bacon between two slices of bread and get eaten as well. Tay Za will use Sun Far for his own interests and Sun Far will fare no better than an old whore running out of youth and usefulness, trust me.

It is time for Sun Far to realize the situation it is in while there is still time to call it quits.
Ganging up with rogues and robbers is a SIN.
Of course it is SUN FAR's choice.

chunkawgg Wrote:
Dear Sunfar Customer,
You are absolutely correct.
SunFar not only operates the travel agency but also does shipping business as well.

How many Burmese seamen were bloodsuckered by SunFa in the last 20 years history? Thousands...thousands..uncountable...

Good luck for Sunfar Owner Mr.Wu (Chaung Chin WU @ U Myo Myint is his Burmese name) and his reliable person [partner?] U Kyaw Tint (father of my friend Kaung Kaung) dealing with U Tay Za.

Sunfar will be a victim by criticizing the public and international community.

As an owner Mr Wu is a good person, I don't understand why Sunfar has allied with Tay Za...Very dangerous..

Anda Mon Wrote:
I like your news but your commercial annoys me.

Sun Far Customer Wrote:
Sun Far travel agency sells tickets to customers, but never takes responsibility. I bought a return ticket from Rangoon to Bangkok. Before I bought it, they said if the tickets is valid for three months, I can refund it and they will return half or more of the cos. When I got to Bangkok, I decided to sell the ticket at Sun Far Agent at Silom Road, not far from Burma embassy, but the agent said, "you have to send this ticket back to where you bought in Burma". I sent it back to Burma, but the Sun Far in Rangoon also said they cannot return even the half of money. So, I get nothing with my one way left ticket. This is a true story. This is how Tay Za tricks you.

Gam Seng Wrote:
Tay Za,

the profit-making by way of robbing your own citizens won't be a good sign for you and your family and cronies instead of making use of your own birthright and capacity in building this country.

Do you think that your business for the legalization of military rule into nominal civility would ensure you the right protection security?

We read the history of your predecessors whose lives ended up and in the same way there is time when we will be reading your history which you are inscribing now.

Know your future and eat, drink and exploit as much as you can because there is not much time for you and your cronies who are in the same boat with those perpetrators.

We see you as not just Tay Za but the monsters backing you, the junta and Chinese yuan.

Mg.Vanna Wrote:
Tay Za is a smart businessman who built up his fortune from taking over the oldtime postwar business of Htoo Supplies Co. Ltd from elderly Daw Htoo(his mother-in-law. His business grew by leaps and bounds due to his business acumen, and working for the topgun generals of the junta.
He is now the replica of Supremo Than Shwe in
the business empire of Burma. He is a well known billionaire publicly while the topgun generals and their families are enjoying incognito billions of $ in hidden bank accounts in neighboring countries.
This is the secret of his success, but he should know the risks behind it. How far can this partnership go on? How long can it last? Nothing is permanent in this world. A day will come when Tay Za cannot tolerate them anymore for risks he is taking for their sake; or become a target for being the Man Who Knew Too Much of their ill-gotten wealth. Their problems can become his own by this unholy alliance to become scapegoat.

Oo Maung gyi Wrote:
Sun Far company is owned by a Burmese Chinese, Thai national, the air ticketing office has a branch in Myanmar at Sakura Tower.
These people are never in the aviation industry, such as airlines and airport ground handling business. How can they know how to run an airline without the help of Air Bagan? If Sun Far runs an aiurline by the name of Asia Wing, it should be made a proxy of Air Bagan, registered in Thailand or Myanmar, most likely in Myanmar after the election to get Myanmar landing rights throughout the world. Whatsoever, Asia Wing run by any owner in Burma, it will be under the proxy of Air Bagan, otherwise to obtain an airline licence is not easy until and unless you have connections with Snr.Gen Than Shwe or Dr. Sr. General Maung Aye in Myanmar. Just wait and see, sooner or later, the Sun Far company will get a big lesson from Myanmar people and international communities as well as from the USA and EU.

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