Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Korean Air to suspend service to Siem Reap

Korean Air to suspend service to Siem Reap

A Korean Air flight lands at Incheon International Airport inn 2012. Jung Yeon-Je/AFP
A Korean Air flight lands at Incheon International Airport inn 2012. Jung Yeon-Je/AFP

Korean Air to suspend service to Siem Reap

Korean Air, the flag carrier of South Korea, will suspend its scheduled service from Incheon to Siem Reap amid increased competition on the route, a government aviation official said yesterday.

Sinn Chanserey Vutha, spokesman of the State Secretariat for Civil Aviation (SSCA), said the airline informed his agency several months ago of its intention to suspend service “because they could not make a profit on the route”.

In a press release issued late last week, Korean Air announced that it would cease to operate flights on the Incheon-Siem Reap route starting in early February 2017 “due to low demand and to increase profitability”. It added that the airline would focus more on in-demand routes to maximise profitability and ensure sustainability.

Provincial tourism figures show a marginal increase in South Korean visitors to Siem Reap, with total visits growing 1.24 percent year-on-year during the first nine months through the end of September.

Vutha said he suspects the airline’s decision to drop the route was not due to a decline in overall passenger traffic on the route, but rather the result of increased competition with other airlines also operating services.

“It’s suspending service due to commercial reasons as there are a lot of airlines [on this route,] which cuts into their market share,” he said.

Five carriers currently operate service from Seoul Incheon Airport, the primary airport serving Seoul, to Siem Reap. These include two full-service carriers – Korean Air and Cambodia Angkor Air – and three low-cost carriers (LCCs) – Air Seoul, Air Busan and Eastar Jet.

Vutha said Korean Air could look to operate its own LCC on the route, which would be more competitive than its full-service airline.

Jin Air, a subsidiary of Korean Air founded in 2008, operates flights to five domestic cities and 22 international destinations. An interline agreement signed with Cambodia Angkor Air in June could see the airline add Siem Reap to its regular schedule.

It previously operated charter flights to the Cambodian city on a seasonal basis.

Meanwhile, Asiana Airlines, a competitor of Korean Air, announced last month that it was handing over flight operations on its Incheon-Siem Reap route to its budget carrier subsidiary Air Seoul.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh unveils rules for post-lockdown transition

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration issued a set of detailed guidelines for the seven days to May 12 after the capital emerges from lockdown at the onset of May 6. In the 14-page document signed by municipal governor Khuong Sreng released on the evening of May 5, the

  • SBI LY HOUR Bank Launches Cross Border Money Transfer Service between Cambodia and Vietnam on RippleNet, utilizing DLT

    SBI LY HOUR Bank Plc and Hanoi-based Tien Phong Commercial Joint Stock Bank (TPBank) on Friday launched the first Cambodia-Vietnam money transfer service in real currency via RippleNet, provided by SBI Ripple Asia Co Ltd to provide safe, fast and convenient services. SBI LY HOUR

  • Gov’t issues guidelines as lockdown nears end

    The government has issued a five-page set of instructions to be enforced when the three-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province ends on May 6. According to an announcement signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 4, the instructions cover a

  • Cambodia ready to exit LDC status

    Cambodia is well-prepared to minimise economic risks when it graduates from its Least Developed Countries status, according to a senior official at the Ministry of Commerce on May 7. Four LDCs – Cambodia, Laos, Bangladesh and Nepal – met at a virtual workshop last week to explore potential

  • Nine US franchises eye Cambodia debut

    Nine famous US franchising companies are looking for business opportunities and expansion into Cambodia to build a footstep for a strong foundation in Southeast Asia. The US embassy in Phnom Penh, in partnership with the US Foreign Commercial Service and with support from the American

  • Nearly 2,000 detained for Phnom Penh curfew breach

    Nearly 2,000 people were detained in the capital for violating the curfew imposed by the government and Phnom Penh Municipal Administration. Municipal police spokesman San Sokseyha told The Post on May 16 that people were detained in two phases. In phase one, the government locked down Phnom