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Silkroute Takes Flight

Beginning Oct. 1, Silk Air will start providing thrice weekly direct air flights

between Phnom Penh and Singapore. Silk Air will fly 737-300s on Tuesdays, Thursdays

and Saturdays, departing the Cambodian capital at 10:20 a.m. and arriving in Singapore

1:30 p.m., after having flown earlier in the day from the city-state at 8 a.m. and

arriving here at 9:10 a.m.

Economy round trip tickets will run about $U.S. 600 in Phnom Penh but about $U.S.

500 if purchased in Singapore, say company executives. Twelve of 117 seats are business

class.

At presstime there was still no bilateral agreement assuring documentation from respective

national airlines would be honored by the other. Determining reciprocal landing rights-and

to which Cambodian airline they should be assigned-are key sticking points.

Executives at Cambodia International Airlines (CIA) told the Phnom Penh Post recently

they hoped they would be assigned at least some of those Cambodian rights in the

next few weeks. They may also be split with SK Air. The two airlines currently share

Cambodia's weekly quota of 17 weekly flights to Bangkok.

Silk Air, a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore Airlines (SIA), was formed April

1 from another subsidiary, Tradewinds, which concentrates more on tour business while

Silk's focus is developing regional services. Phnom Penh is Silk Air's 12th destination

in the region with an emphasis on vacation locales.

The local manager is Gopi Bala, who will be assisted by five Khmer staff, three of

whom have yet to be found. The offices are located in the Fuldaa Cambodia Corporation

Ltd. building on 106 Street. The Bangkok-based Fuldaa Corporation Ltd. runs CIA-a

joint venture with the Phnom Penh administration-besides having a number of other

investments in the capital. - Ken Stier

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