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K Mile Air launches air freight service

Thai airline K Mile Air launched cargo flights between Bangkok and Phnom Penh yesterday, adding to Cambodia’s growing network of air freight connections, an aviation official said.

The Bangkok-based cargo airline will use a Boeing 747-400 with a cargo capacity of 15 tonnes to fly between the two capitals five days a week, according to Sinn Chanserey Vutha, deputy director-general of the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA). The charter flights could eventually lead to scheduled service.

He said Cambodia has attracted nearly half a dozen air cargo carriers to date, including regular scheduled service by Cathay Pacific and Turkish Airlines. Emirates SkyCargo, a division of UAE-based Emirates Airline, inaugurated charter freight service to Phnom Penh in April and plans to switch to scheduled flights later this year.

“Most charter air cargo services plan to change to scheduled service because production capacity in local factories keeps rising along with demand,” Vutha said.

He attributed the surge in cargo traffic to Cambodia’s continually improving economy and political situation that has given investors and airlines more confidence in the market.

Data from Cambodia Airports, which operates the Kingdom’s three international airports, showed total cargo volume at the capital’s airport grew to 16,848 tonnes during the first five months of the year, a 14.6 per cent increase over the same period last year.

According to a spokesman for Cambodia Airports, K Mile Air will serve to deliver shipments for global logistics company DHL.

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