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Budget bonanza looms for fliers

Budget bonanza looms for fliers

THREE budget airlines are considering Cambodia for their newest

destination.

Tiger Airways, Asia Air and ValuAir have all approached the

Phnom Penh International Airport about the business potential of new flights,

said Anvanith Gui, manager of communications at the airport, on May

12.

No deals have been signed but Gui said there is great potential for a

low-cost carrier in the Cambodian market, provided it comes from a large

transport hub.

Industry newcomers ValuAir and Tiger Airways are

Singapore-based, while Air Asia has its head office in Kuala Lumpur.

"I

think the first one in will take a large share [of business], as they all come

from the same region," said Gui. "I think it will be a good development for

Cambodian tourism."

No estimates of fares were available, but regular

Bangkok-Singapore tickets from no-frills airlines sell for well under $100 and

special deals around the region go for as little as $9.

Gui said though

low-cost airlines were welcome, the airport's priority was to develop routes to

other cities and increase access to Cambodia.

Malaysia Airlines has just

announced three additional flights between Kuala Lumpur and Siem Reap, starting

June 3, and area manager Manaf Harun said there was concern about increased

competition, "especially for markets such as this where the price is the

predominant factor in choosing an airline".

Harun said Malaysia Airlines

would await the arrival of the new carriers before considering dropping prices.

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