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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - CIA near deal on second Boeing

CIA near deal on second Boeing

C

AMBODIA International Airlines (CIA) is looking to buy up to three more Boeing

737s as part of an expansion plan, which will see it add Vientiane to its

routes.

A deal on one second-hand Boeing 737-200 with 110 seats was

nearing finalization as the Post went to press.

Managing Director Udom

Tantiprasongchai toured Europe and the United States hoping to secure deals on

second hand aircraft, said his assistant Jimmy Gao.

He said negotiations

were nearly complete to buy a Boeing 737 from an airline in Miami. He refused to

name the airline or reveal the price of the aircraft.

The airline

currently operates with a solitary 737 on its flights to Bangkok, Singapore,

Hong Kong and Ho Chi Minh City.

Gao said: "We are full of confidence.

Things are getting better and better."

Twice weekly flights to Vientiane,

on Wednesdays and Saturdays will begin on June 8, with equivalent fares to Laos

Aviation of $150 one way, Gao said.

He added that CIA is awaiting

approval from the Vietnamese government to upgrade its service to Ho Chi Minh

City to daily flights from its current two times a week.

Other

international options being examined are flights to Kuala Lumpur, and to the

southern Chinese cities of Guangzhou and Shantou.

The airline is also

planning to launch charter flights to the island resorts of Phuket, on the west

coast of Thailand and Langkawi, on the west coast of Malaysia.

In

addition to the route change, CIA has set up its own offices at all of its

current destinations, including Vientiane, which will be linked by

computer.

Gao said: "We were relying on overseas agents but some

customers complained they were not getting good service from them."

In

March CIA received an order from the government to cease operations just prior

to the July 1 inauguration date for the proposed new national flag carrier Royal

Air Cambodge (RAC).

But with negotiations between the government and

Singapore International Airlines apparently not making progress, airline sources

have said RAC's takeoff date may be months away and some even speculated that

the deal may have completely fallen through.

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