Cambodian aviation to join the Cape Town Convention?

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The State Secretariat of the Civil Aviation (SSCA) is looking at the possibility of joining the Cape Town Convention with the aim of increasing the Kingdom’s competitiveness.

Over this past week, a joint conference between the SSCA, Boeing Co and the US embassy to Cambodia was held. Representatives included Mao Havannal, the minister in charge of the SSCA, Patrick Murphy, the US ambassador to Cambodia, and members of relevant ministries, government agencies and Cambodia Angkor Air.

Havannal said that joining the convention will provide Cambodia with economic benefits:

  • Reduce borrowing and financing costs for airlines and airline operations.
  • Reduce the cost of renting or purchasing aircraft and equipment.
  • Increase financing options so ticket prices would be lower.

SSCA’s spokesman Sin Chansereyvutha told the Khmer Times that the treaty “will provide benefits for civil aviation and airline operators.” However, he added that Cambodia faces challenges in order to become a member of the convention.

What is the Cape Town Convention?

According to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the Cape Town Convention’s primary aim “is to resolve the problem of obtaining certain and opposable rights to high-value aviation assets, namely airframes, aircraft engines and helicopters which, by their nature, have no fixed location.”

The convention was signed in 2001 in Cape Town, South Africa. A full list of signatory parties is available here. 78 countries have ratified the convention as of July 2020. These include 16 Asia-Pacific nations: Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, China, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Kazakstan, New Zealand, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Singapore, Tajikistan and Vietnam.

Cambodian Aviation sector 2020

In 2020, the Cambodian-based airlines have suffered much like the global aviation industry due to the impacts of COVID-19.

By the start of 2020, there were ten registered airlines in Cambodia. That number was higher in 2019 but rising competition and market losses forced airlines in Cambodia to reduce services or to cease operations.

The national carrier, Cambodia Angkor Air, had its 49% stake owned by Vietnam Airlines put up for sale earlier this in 2020.

Lanmei Airlines had hoped to launch new routes from Phnom Penh to Malaysia, and China as early as August 2020.

By early September more airlines had started to announce flights to Phnom Penh from destinations such as Vietnam, Singapore, Japan, Korea and more,

You can read more about the current state of the Cambodian airports here.

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