Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Air cargo service takes flight

Air cargo service takes flight

A Cambodia Angkor Air flight prepares for take-off at Phnom Penh International Airport.
A Cambodia Angkor Air flight prepares for take-off at Phnom Penh International Airport. Vireak Mai

Air cargo service takes flight

Cambodia Angkor Air launched what it claimed to be the country’s first domestic air cargo service yesterday, using the existing capacity of its commercial passenger flights to fill the growing demand for air shipments.

The new service, called Angkor Express Go, will transport goods along two main flight paths, with shipments travelling between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, and between Siem Reap and Sihanoukville, company representatives said.

Eng Molina, the airline’s general manager of marketing, said there is a growing demand in Cambodia for air cargo, especially for seafood, vegetables and other perishable products that are in high demand in Siem Reap, the country’s main tourism destination.

“We have learned that there is a huge demand for local transportation services, including air transport,” he said. “We believe that there is a big potential for this type of operation.”

Molina said he expects people will start shifting away from land transport and transition to the faster air service for products that depend of rapid delivery times to maintain their quality. Notoriously slow road travel from Sihanoukville to Siem Reap can take 10 hours, while air service can have the goods delivered in about an hour though at a higher cost, he conceded.

Cambodia Angkor Air already operates cargo services, but only on international flights, Molina noted, adding that the airline has transported close to 4,700 tonnes of goods since 2013.

The carrier uses two types of aircraft on its domestic routes. It flies 68-seater ATR72 planes, capable of carrying 400 kilograms of goods, as well as larger Airbus A320s, with 180 seats and a 2,000-kilogram cargo capacity.

Cambodia Angkor Air is one of four Cambodian carriers serving domestic routes, along with Sky Angkor Airlines, Bassaka Air and Cambodia Bayon Airlines. Startup airline JC International Airlines is scheduled to commence service today.

Sinn Chanserey Vutha, spokesman for the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation, said Cambodia already has domestic cargo services through other airlines, though he expects Cambodia Angkor Air’s new service will be popular.

“There is more and more demand for cargo transportation by air, both for international and domestic flights he said. “I think the new service will be used by many and will be successful.”

However, Sin Chanthy, president of the Cambodia Freight Forwarders Association, said he did not expect the new air service would result in any significant shift away from overland transport.

“It just provides more options, but I don’t think it will be overly popular because the transportation fees will be much higher compared to land shipments,” he said. “Cambodian roads are getting much better and the transport of goods is also getting faster and easier.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Locations shut, dozens more Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health has closed 23 locations in connection with the February 20 community transmission of Covid-19 and summoned for testing anyone who had direct contact with affected people and places. The number of discovered related infections has risen to 76, including 39 women. In a press release,

  • Kingdom's Covid cluster cases jump to 194

    The Ministry of Health on February 25 confirmed 65 new cases of Covid-19, with 58 linked to the February 20 community transmission. The latest cluster cases include nine Vietnamese nationals, five Cambodians, one each from Korea, Singapore and Japan, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total number

  • Cambodia's Covid cluster cases rise to 137

    The Ministry of Health on February 24 recorded 40 more cases of Covid-19, with 38 linked to the February 20 community transmission. Of the 40, two are imported cases involving Chinese passengers. The 38 include two Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total cases

  • Covid cluster raises alarm, health bodies urge vigilance

    The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia have expressed great concern over the February 20 cluster transmission of Covid-19 in the community. Both entities appealed for vigilance and cooperation in curbing further spread of the virus. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said

  • PM confirms third Covid-19 community transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on February 20 announced the Kingdom's third outbreak of Covid-19 community transmission after 32 people tested positive in just over 10 hours. Addressing the public from his residence after an emergency meeting, Hun Sen said: "I dub it February 20 Community Event, in which 32 cases

  • Cambodia to make auto-rickshaws

    Locally-assembled electric auto-rickshaws could hit the Cambodian market as soon as early in May after the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) gave the greenlight to an investment project at the weekend. According to a CDC press release, it will issue a final registration