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HK flights welcomed

The launch of the first regular Siem Reap-Hong Kong air service last month was showing signs of positive adoption, Dragonair country manager Nicolas Masse said yesterday.

“Although we don’t have any figures yet, agents’ reactions have been positive,” he said.

“It adds a convenient alternative for the increasing number of passengers flying to and from China.”

Dragonair, part of the Cathay Pacific Group, currently flies 14 times a week on the Hong Kong-Siem Reap route, using an agreement with another airline for Ho Chi Minh to Siemreap sector.

“We understand the huge potential for tourism in Siem Reap, and we will look into the possibility of making this a dir-ect route,” Masse said.

Although the airline is the only one flying from Hong Kong to the Kingdom at present, it is in competition with flights from mainland China. “It’s not a monopoly; passengers flying to mainland China do have a choice, although they still choose to fly with us, paying premium prices for the privileges our airline and Hong Kong airport offer,” Masse said.

Cambodian Association of Travel Agents president Ang Kim Eang said that although Dragonair was the only carr-ier flying from Hong Kong, it did not have a monopoly on the route.

“No Cambodian carriers have applied to operate on this route, which means Dragonair faces no direct competition, allowing them to charge what they please,” he said.

If other airlines were to operate on the route, the competit-ion could lead to Dragonair reconsidering its fares, Ang Kim Eang said.

He said he welcomed Drag-onair’s Siem Reap service and expected tourism in the Kingdom to increase as a result.

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