T op executives from the two airlines threatened in a big
shake-up expressed optimism they will still be operating after a June 25
deadline to shut down passes.
Cambodian International Airlines (CIA) and
Siam Kampuchea Air (SK Air) have received official letters telling them to cease
operating a week prior to the proposed inauguration day of Royal Air Cambodge on
But Udom Tantiprasongchai, managing director of CIA, was so sure
that his airline would still be running he announced new routes to the
Udom said: "I am confident that the government will find a good
solution for us."
CIA currently operates from Phnom Penh to Bangkok, Hong
Kong and Singapore.
Udom said the airline would begin thrice weekly
flights to Ho Chi Minh City on Apr 1, with a one-way economy fare of
And another new route, to Shanghai, will begin in early May, with a
once a week charter service, with fares at $550.
Udom added that more
routes, to Vientiane, Myanmar (Burma), Manila and India are also approved and
may be operating by the end of the year.
The airline's expansion has
required it to purchase a second Boeing 737.
Udom said if CIA is forced
to close down, he has contingency plans to move the airline to Laos or
Meanwhile Somboom Deelert, Phnom Penh station manager for SK Air
also said he was also confident the government would reconsider its decision to
close the airline down.
He said: "Obviously it was bad news for us but
the government often changes its decisions, everything depends on them and we
have to abide by whatever the final decision is."
SK Air operates a
concession given it by Kampuchea Airlines to fly the Bangkok route. Kampuchea
Air itself will be closed down and absorbed when Royal Air Cambodge begins
Both CIA and SK Air are Thai owned and managed companies, and
have been operating in Cambodia for more than two years.