Malaysia-based Air Asia will begin offering travel services in Cambodia, and may expand its flights to neighbouring countries, company officials said.
The airline launched its first Air Asia Travel and Service Center in Phnom Penh yesterday. Air Asia will partner with tour operator Mekong Discovery.
So Mara, a Secretary of State at the Ministry of Tourism, said at the opening ceremony that the centre – which will book package holidays – would increase tourism between Cambodia and Malaysia.
Ang Kim Eang, President of the Cambodia Associations of Travel Agents, which represents about 200 of Cambodia’s 400 tour operators, welcomed the competition.
“I think that the increased services are good for customers,” he said.
The airline also eyed new air routes in the Kingdom. Vanna Chheang, Air Asia’s representative in Cambodia, said the company is interested in expanding flight operations from Thailand.
“In the future, we have a plan to increase a number of flights,” he said, adding that the airline planned to launch another morning flight to Bangkok.
“We also plan to increase the flights from Phuket to Siem Reap and from Chiang Mai to Siem Reap.”
When the operator began its service to Cambodia in 2005, it ran one afternoon flight between Phnom Penh and Kuala Lumpur. However, it now operates four flights a day.
The company also considered flights to Kang Keng airport in Sihanoukville province, but noted that airport taxes could foil the plan. “Actually, the price they will charge is very high,” Vanna Chheang said.
“And currently we are negotiating a landing price.”