Malindo Air, a Malaysian low-cost carrier, will launch daily flights from Kuala Lumpur to Phnom Penh beginning on August 1, the airline announced on its website yesterday.
Eric Delobel, CEO of Cambodia Airports, which operates the Kingdom’s three international airports, said with Malindo’s launch of service Cambodia was on track to have a total of 44 passenger and cargo connections by the end of the year.
“This shows that Cambodia is finally starting to be able to leverage itself as a direct destination,” he said.
According to Delobel, it took several rounds of negotiations to get Malindo to commit to daily service, as revenue and cost calculations had to be presented and considered by both sides.
“The market is not like it was 10 years ago,” he said. “Now every airline is extremely competitive and they are trying to capture new routes to generate more profits.”
Nuno Costa, marketing and sales director for Cambodia Airports, said Malindo’s strategy was to set up a flight to Phnom Penh and eventually link the Kingdom from eight Indian cities, as well as Dhaka in Bangladesh, and ultimately reaching as far as Pakistan.
“Yes, their hub is in Kualu Lumpur, but their main market is in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan,” he said.
“We are currently working with them on the best routes to connect Cambodia to India, as well as talking to Indian airlines for direct connectivity.”