Cambodia Airways, which started operations in the Kingdom this year, has announced the arrival of its first aircraft, an Airbus A319 that it expects will contribute to increasing air traffic to and from Cambodia.
With a $200 million capital injection, Cambodia Airways Co Ltd is 100 percent owned by Prince International Airlines Co Ltd (PIA) – a fully Cambodian entity.
The airline will welcome its second aircraft next month, with another five slated for arrival by the end of the year, it said.
“With Cambodia’s economic growth expecting to reach seven percent again this year and next, the company strongly believes the local airline industry will see positive growth and success in Asia,” the company said.
It said Cambodia Airways plans to add as many as 10 aircraft in the short term as it grows its number of destinations.
The Post previously reported that Cambodia Airways had applied for an airline operator’s certificate (AOC) from the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA).
However, in the company’s announcement, it said the arrival of its first aircraft on Friday is a good sign towards getting the AOC in time for the airline’s maiden flight this July.
Cambodia looks set to add three new carriers this year to bring the total number to 10.
The aviation sector has seen rapid growth in recent years – from two airlines with seven aircraft in 2013 to its current number of seven airlines with 30 aircraft.
The Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) predicts that there will be 45 aircraft flying to and from Cambodia by the end of this year.
“Cambodia’s [aircraft] fleet will continue to expand rapidly over the next few years as passenger traffic grows. It will be driven to a large extent by inbound demand from China,” the report says.
Chhay Sivlin, the president of the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents (CATA), said on Monday that having a new airline in Cambodia reflects increasing demand for air travel to the Kingdom, while outbound tourists will increase as well.
She said the tourism sector will see phenomenal growth as airline operators help to promote Cambodia as a destination of choice to travellers the world over.
“With more airline operators, the tourism market in Cambodia will also get bigger. And as the inflow of foreign tourists increases annually, we need higher quality services that are comparable to what is offered by established airlines,” she said.
Cambodia Airways will have its main operating bases in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville.
It will also introduce 20 A320 aircraft in the next five years. They will fly from Cambodia to South Korea, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan through scheduled and or charter flights. In its second phase, the airline will expand to Australia and Europe as it builds a comprehensive network of destinations.