T he man who will head the huge and hasty operation to create Royal Air Cambodge
admitted it will be a race against time to meet the July 1 target date to begin
Ng Kian Wah, chief executive designate of the new airline, also
pointed out that the starter's gun won't truly have been fired until a formal
contract has been signed by the Royal Government.
Tourism Minister Veng
Sereyvuth said he is likely to put pen to paper before the end of
Ng, still technically a Singapore International Airlines
executive, said: "At the moment there is no company and no board. No decisions
can really be made until you have those."
One of the biggest problems
will be obtaining a lease on aircraft which are often in short supply, the
Singapore Airlines executive said. There are plans to initially acquire one or
two Boeing 737-300 which can seat up to 150 passengers, and a French ATR-72
turboprop to be used on the domestic routes.
He added: "I can't go to ask
for aircraft until I have a piece of paper saying what company I represent and I
can't have that until the contract is signed."
But Ng said he believed
company registration and other formalities could be completed very quickly once
the contract was signed, particularly as Cambodia has yet to acquire numbers of
regulations governing the formation of firms.
Among the mountain of work
facing Ng and his team once they get the green light will be the choice of an
airline logo, the purchase of cutlery and crockery, design of uniforms,
installation and training of staff on computers.
The re-creation of Royal
Air Cambodge will mark a sentimental moment for King Sihanouk. It was the
national airline during his period in power in the 60s.
As well as
domestic and regional routes, the airline has a longer term plan to fly
long-haul routes, the first being Paris.
Meanwhile a facelift operation
on dilapidated Pochentong Airport is due to be completed in time for the
airline's planned inauguration.