Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Chartered flights from Taiwan re-launched

Chartered flights from Taiwan re-launched

Chartered flights from Taiwan re-launched

Chartered direct flights from Taiwan to Cambodia were re-launched on February 7 by Taiwanese airline Far Eastern Air Transport, one year after the company abruptly suspended the flights over a dispute with its Cambodian airline partner over unpaid aviation fuel.

The flights from Taoyuan International Airport, located 50 kilometres from the Taiwanese capital of Taipei, to Siem Reap International Airport are being organised with its new partner, a Taiwanese travel agency, said a source with knowledge of the deal.

Six flights have been organised from Taoyuan to Siem Reap and back for this month, the source added.

Flights have been re-launched because the route is popular among travellers from both countries, said Grace Yu, Far Eastern’s public relations specialist.

Airlines typically use chartered flights, organised via private hiring arrangements, as “market testing” for demand for flights into a country prior to deciding whether to start regular scheduled flights, said state secretary of the Council of Ministers, Tek Reth Samrach.

“To me, Siem Reap is very important to all airlines,” he said. Angkor Wat is set to be a top tourist destination, and airlines that want to remain competitive need to prepare to start flying into Siem Reap, he added.

Local travel agency World Express Tours & Travel’s managing director, Ho Vandy, said he gets “not a lot” of Taiwanese customers in a year – about 200, or 10 per cent of his clientele.

Recently, air services between Taiwan and Cambodia involving Far Eastern air transport have hit turbulence.

In May 2008, Angkor Airways, which had been leasing planes from Far Eastern, halted its Taiwan-Cambodia flights when the head of Angkor Airway’s Taiwan branch, Alex Lou, was held in custody for allegedly embezzling money from Far Eastern.

In February 2012, Far Eastern grounded a plane it leased to local charter airline Tonlesap at Taoyuan, saying the company owed about $105,000 in aviation fuel fees. This had left more than 200 Taiwanese tourists stranded for over 10 hours. During that period, Lou was Tonlesap’s director.

Meanwhile, Far Eastern restarted its services in April 2011 after announcing its bankruptcy and suspending all flights in May 2008 due to a series of financial crises.

 

To contact the reporter on this story: Low Wei Xiang at [email protected]
 

MOST VIEWED

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • Japan bank buys major stake in ANZ Royal Bank

    Japan's largest bank acquired more than half of ANZ’s shares in Cambodia on Thursday, according to a statement from Kith Meng’s Royal Group. Japan's JTrust Bank, announced that they had acquired a 55% of stake in ANZ Royal Bank. According to a Royal Group

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman