National flag carrying airline Cambodia Angkor Air on Thursday launched the Kingdom’s first domestic air cargo service, called Angkor Express Go, transporting goods between its major flight paths of Phnom Penh and Siem Reap and Siem Reap and Sihanoukville. By using its existing capacity onboard passenger flights, the airline aims to cater to the “huge demand” for local air transportation services, especially for seafood, vegetables and other perishable goods to the country’s main tourist destination of Siem Reap.
“We believe that there is a big potential for this type of operation,” said Cambodia Angkor Air general manager of marketing Eng Molina, adding that they expected clients would transition from land delivery to their air service to help maintain quality of their products. It can take around 10 hours by land from Sihanoukville to Siem Reap, but just one hour by air.
According to Molina, the airline has already transported close to 4,700 tonnes of goods since 2013, but only internationally. Two types of aircraft are currently used on its domestic routes: the 68-seater ATR72 planes, capable of transporting 400 kilograms of goods, and the 180-seater Airbus A320s, that can handle up to two tonnes of cargo.
On Friday, Chinese-backed startup JC International Airlines became the fifth Cambodian carrier serving domestic routes after Cambodia Angkor Air, Sky Angkor Airlines, Bassaka Air and Cambodia Bayon Airlines. JCI’s two brand new Airbus A320s will run routes from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh and Siem Reap to Sihanoukville, with plans to bring in more craft to expand flights to the ASEAN region, China, Japan and South Korea.
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