Small Planet Airlines, a low-cost carrier, became the seventh airline registered with the country’s aviation body after the company yesterday received its Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC).
Small Planet Airlines Cambodia, a subsidiary of the Small Planet Group – a conglomerate present in Lithuania, Poland and Germany – will start operations soon out of Siem Reap, said Sin Chansereyvutha, a spokesman for the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA). “The company sought the AOC for about a year and during that period the company had time to prepare and ready itself to begin operations. They are now ready to start flying,” he said.
The company will target mainly South Korean and Chinese passengers, with Siem Reap’s airport already well connected to these nations. According to Chansereyvutha, the frequency of flights will be largely dictated by seasonal demand.
Small Planet Airlines joins six other carriers in the Kingdom’s aviation market – Cambodia Angkor Air, Sky Angkor Airlines, Bassaka Airlines, Bayon Airlines, JC International Airlines and Lanmei Airlines. The budget carrier recently ended a five-year contract with Korean airline Sky Angkor to operate chartered fights to destinations in East and Southeast Asia, including China, South Korea and Vietnam, according to a company’s representative.
Small Planet Airlines Cambodia’s fleet will be composed of two A320s aircraft initially, but the airline plans to extend it to six by 2020. According to the airline’s website, Small Planet Airlines Cambodia completed its first demonstration flight from Siem Reap in September 2017.