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Airlines hope to keep flying

Airlines hope to keep flying

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

Jul 1.

But Udom Tantiprasongchai, managing director of CIA, was so sure

that his airline would still be running he announced new routes to the

Post.

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

$50.

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

Vietnam.

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

operations.

Both CIA and SK Air are Thai owned and managed companies, and

have been operating in Cambodia for more than two years.

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