A S the latest deadline for the signing of the contract to create Royal Air
Cambodge passed, the new president designate of the new airline expressed
guarded optimism that it would still be able to meet a July1 start-up
But, in an interview at his office in Prince Ranarridh's sprawling
Phnom Penh house, Nady Tan admitted no firm contract signing date was yet in
Singapore Airlines executive Ng Kian Wah, who is negotiating the
contract with Nady, has made it clear that further delays in signing are
imperiling the airline beginning operations on time.
Veng Sereyvuth, the man likely to sign the deal for the government side, had
said he hoped pen would be put to paper by the end of March.
former Cambodian Air Force Colonel who fled to the US in 1975, said of hitting
the July 1 target: "I am optimistic. Most of the ground work has been
But he added: "One thing my teacher taught me is that those who
predict the future are fools. I don't know if we will be able to meet the
deadline for sure, it may not be possible.
Nady said he and Ng, who is
chief executive designate for the new airline, have struck up a good working
relationship and are staying in close touch. During their stay in this country
Ng's team is billeted at the Cambodiana Hotel.
The president designate
refused to discuss any of the contents of the contract or estimate how much
working capital the airline would be launched with.
who read a draft copy of the contract obtained by the Post warned the government
it was surrendering too much control to SIA.
The draft contract reveals
that SIA is demanding a monopoly for Royal Air Cambodge as a Cambodian carrier.
Already Siam Khmer Airlines and Cambodia International Airlines have been given
notice to quit operations one week before July 1.
Leading executives from
both airlines have expressed optimism their companies will be able to persuade
the government to have the order rescinded.
Nady said was unaware of
being appointed president designate of Royal Air Cambodge until a journalist
showed him a report about it on his arrival in Cambodia on March 2. Prior to his
appointment, Nady had been working on a refugee resettlement program in