Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Two China-backed airlines nearing govt approval, adding to Cambodia's crowded tarmacs

Two China-backed airlines nearing govt approval, adding to Cambodia's crowded tarmacs

Passengers board a flight to Phnom Penh from Siem Reap International Airport last year.
Passengers board a flight to Phnom Penh from Siem Reap International Airport last year. Scott Howes

Two China-backed airlines nearing govt approval, adding to Cambodia's crowded tarmacs

Two new joint Cambodian-Chinese airlines are expected to receive government approval to start operating in Cambodia by the end of the year or early next year.

MJ Airlines and Domrey Angkor Airlines are next in line to receive the air operator’s certificate (AOC) required to operate aircraft in the country, according to Sin Chanserey Vutha, a spokesman at the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation.

“Per their schedule, MJ Airlines will operate at the end of the year, and Domrey Angkor Airlines will start early next year,” Chanserey Vutha said on Sunday. “Both airlines are based on attracting Chinese arrivals to Cambodia’s aviation market.”

The two new approvals would bring Cambodia’s total number of airlines to nine, with four additional companies still waiting for AOC approval, the spokesman said.

A report from the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation released in February said that while Cambodia’s aviation sector was rapidly expanding, “it is hard to imagine a market the size of Cambodia supporting more than five airlines – let alone 10 – over the long run”.

“For the amount of new airlines, it is bit crowded to handle for aviation market,” Chanserey Vutha said. “But it is good that we have good competition, and it gives more options for customers.”

About 3 million passengers travelled through the airports in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville during the first quarter of this year, a 25 percent increase over last year, according to Khek Norinda, communication and PR director of Cambodia Airports.

“We may need more time and perspective to see to what extent the market will be able to absorb all the new local airlines,” Norinda said yesterday.

“The trend may tilt toward consolidation at some point.”

It wasn’t clear exactly where the new arrivals would fly in China and elsewhere in Asia.

MOST VIEWED

  • Two luxury hotels latest quarantine options for inbound travellers

    The Inter-Ministerial Committee to Combat Covid-19 has designated two luxury hotels as alternative quarantine options for travellers who wish to enter Cambodia through Phnom Penh International Airport – Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel & Residence and the Courtyard by Marriott Phnom Penh. In a notice detailing guidelines issued

  • Visa A holders get to quarantine at Himawari Hotel

    The Ministry of Health has permitted foreign diplomats, UN and International NGO officials to undergo quarantine at Himawari Hotel in the capital in case they do not have a separate place suitable for this purpose, but the government would not be responsible for the expenses.

  • Baby saved as mother is lost to Covid

    Newborn baby Neth David has had a rough start in the world. His mother, Vong Daneth, was seven months pregnant when she contracted a severe case of Covid-19. When it became clear to her doctors that she would not survive, they performed a cesarean section

  • Jabs for kids bring hope for school reopenings

    Cambodia is tentatively planning to reopen schools – at least at the secondary level – when the vaccination of children aged 12-17 is completed, even though daily transmissions and deaths in other age groups remain high. Schools across the country have been suspended since March 20, one month

  • Hun Sen: Get 12-17 age group ready for Covid jabs

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has told parents of children aged 12-17 in Phnom Penh and the provinces of Kandal and Preah Sihanouk to get them ready for vaccinations soon. “There is a need to vaccinate children and youths aged 12 to 17. According to the statistics provided

  • Covid rattles Phnom Penh’s retail landscape through H1

    The Covid-19 pandemic has rocked the retail landscape in Phnom Penh, with anxiety around infection risk keeping the masses away from shopping malls and driving retail consumption down by nearly five per cent in the first half of this year, compared to July-December 2020, according to