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Siem Reap flight grounded over fuel payment dispute

Siem Reap flight grounded over fuel payment dispute

A Siem Reap-bound plane was grounded yesterday in Taiwan’s Taoyuan International Airport after a US$100,000 fuel dispute between two Taiwanese airlines.

Without warning, Far Eastern Air Transport grounded the passenger plane it leased to Tonlesap at 10:25 am, according to a statement posted on Far Eastern’s website.

Far Eastern claimed Tonlesap owed it $101,500 in fuel.

The plane was scheduled to carry 138 passengers to Siem Reap and return to Taiwan with 109 passengers yesterday afternoon, according to Focus Taiwan, a Taiwanese news service.

Tonlesap Airlines issued a separate statement claiming it owed  $33,800, far less than a deposit it had paid to Far Eastern, according to Focus Taiwan.

Neither company could be reached yesterday for comment.

Tonlesap Airlines, the first carrier to make direct flights between Cambodia and Taiwan, launched in February, 2011.

The Post reported at the time the company was backed by investors from Taiwan, Cambodia, Singapore and Britain.

The airline said it hoped to run flights between Siem Reap and Sihanoukville, the Post reported last August, but no flights have materialised.

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