Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - July target is tough - SIA chief

July target is tough - SIA chief

July target is tough - SIA chief

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

flying.

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

March.

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.

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