Three more airlines are expected to apply for their Cambodian Air Operator Certificates early next year, senior officials at the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) said yesterday.
“I expect at least one airline will submit their application for AOC early next year and two more will follow,” Kao Sivorn, director-general of operations for the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation said.
He declined to say where the airlines would fly, but said they were international carriers.
“It will need at least four months [after the AOC is requested] to finish evaluation of the airlines to meet SSCA’s requirements,” he said.
According to SCCA spokesman Sin Chansereyvutha the new airlines are backed by investors from China and Taiwan.
“The airlines that are expecting to come are small and medium airlines. They have at least two aircrafts,” he said.
The new airlines will join the growing number of Chinese-backed fliers in Cambodia, including Bassaka Air, Apsara International Air and Bayon Airlines, all of which received their AOC’s this year.
“The increase in airlines might have been the result of greater corporation between Cambodia and China over economic ties, especially in the tourism sector,” he added.
Ang Kim Eang, president of the Cambodian Association of Travel Agents, welcomed more flights he said would benefit the Kingdom’s tourism industry.
“I hope to see more long haul flights and more flights to countries in the region is also a needed for Cambodia to catch more visitors,” he said.