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Launch of Cambodia Airlines faces delay

A joint venture to get the country’s second major carrier, Cambodia Airlines, off the ground will be delayed by three months, according to a stakeholder disclosure statement.

Cecilia L Pesayco, assistant corporate secretary of Philippine Airlines Inc’s parent company, PAL Holdings Inc, said in a statement dated August 8 to the Philippine Stock Exchange that the closing date “for completion of PAL’s [Philippine Airlines] Joint Venture with Inter Logisticts (Cambodia) Co Ltd has been moved to October 15, 2013”.

The target closing date was initially July 15.

According to an earlier statement to the same stock exchange at the end of May, Philippine Airlines would invest $10 million for a 49 per cent stake in Cambodia Airlines, with the first $1 million due on the closing date last month.

The other 51 per cent would be owned by Inter Logistics (Cambodia), which is controlled by Royal Group of Companies chairman Kith Meng, the statement in May said.

David Pearson, group controller at Royal Group, said yesterday the completion was postponed because the regulatory process was taking longer, but that “it’s not a big deal”.

“There’s a lot of work involved in preparing to launch an airline but everything is [progressing] smoothly,” he said.

Pearson said the delay will not affect the first flights. He confirmed they will take off in the third quarter of this year.

The airline would compete against Cambodia Angkor Air, which has until now dominated scheduled domestic flights.

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