New Airline About To Take Off

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Cambodia Airways, a locally owned airline with $200 million paid-up capital, will launch operations in the next few weeks, operating local and international routes, particularly to destinations in China, according to a representative of the Secretariat of State Civil Aviation.

An employee directs an airplane in Phnom Penh International Airport. KT/Chor Sokunthea

Cambodia Airways Co., Ltd. is wholly owned by Prince International Airlines, a Cambodian company.

The airline is now waiting to receive its air operator’s certificate (AOC) from the government to begin flying, said Sinn Chansereyvutha, spokesman for SSCA.

“They are in the process of securing the AOC, which they should receive in the first week of July. If all goes as planned, they should start flying in July or August,” he said.

In August last year, the airline received initial approval by the Council for the Development of Cambodia and in September it obtained its certification of incorporation from the Ministry of Commerce.

“Their main routes will be to China,” Mr Chansereyvutha said. “The government is keen on promoting the creation of local airlines flying to China because their goal is to attract more Chines tourists and investment.”

According to a representative of the airline, Cambodia Airways will also cover routes connecting the main cities in the Kingdom: Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville.

The company has ambitious growth plans both nationally and internationally. In the next five years, the airline plans to acquire 20 A320 family aircraft, as well as operate charter and scheduled flights to other Southeast Asian countries, Korea, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. Within their short-term strategy, the company also envisions creating flights to Australia and Europe.

The Cambodian airline recently reached an agreement with AJW Group – a world-leading independent specialist in the global management of aircraft spares – on a new power-by-the-hour contract to manage the complete supply, repair and overhaul of its fleet rotable components.

“We are delighted to have been awarded this new contract with Cambodia Airways at such a formative time for the airline,” said Christopher Whiteside, president and CEO of AJW Group.

“Our established presence in the Asia Pacific region, coupled with our technical expertise and global network, makes us the ideal partner for Cambodia Airways as they embark on a period of significant growth,” he said.

Li Xin, CEO of Cambodia Airways said: “We are delighted to be working with AJW, whose unrivalled expertise, experience and flexibility will be invaluable to us as we grow.”

According to SSCA’s Chansereyvutha, Cambodia Airways will become the 8 locally-registered airline, following in the footsteps of Cambodia Angkor Air, Sky Angkor, Bassaka Air, JC International, Lanmei, Small Planet and Cambodia Bayon Airlines.

From 2013 to 2017, SSCA handled more than 31 million domestic and foreign passengers. During that time period, Cambodia had 40,500 domestic and 137,000 international flights, according to SSCA’s latest report.

This article was originally published in the Khmer Times.