Thursday, May 9, 2013

Philippine Airlines parent company steps in into Cambodia’s air transport

 Luc Citrinot - 09 May 2013

San Miguel Company is now involved into a joint venture in Cambodia to launch this summer Cambodia Airlines, a new carrier which will finally create competition with the current national carrier Cambodia Angkor Air.

PHNOM PENH- After Vietnam Airlines which shares the ownership of Cambodia’s first national airline Cambodia Angkor Air, competition is due to increase with the arrival of a new domestic airline from July, Cambodia Airlines. The new carrier is a joint venture between the private Cambodian conglomerate Royal Group and the parent company of Philippine Airlines, San Miguel.

The new airline was officially presented at the end of April. It will have a fleet of Bombardier Dash8-400 and will first serve domestic destinations within the Kingdom. It plans to take off during the third quarter of this year. San Miguel will have 49% of the shares of Cambodia Airlines but will also bring its expertise in the air transport field. The future carrier plans to serve the Phnom Penh-Siem Reap but also serve the Sihanoukville market on Cambodia’s coast.

The carrier is also mulling out the option of serving other domestic destinations such as Kratie, Rattanakiri, Mondulkiri or Battambang. These regional cities used to be served in the past out of Phnom Penh. The carrier would then serve regional destinations but not before mid 2014.

Cambodia Airlines will have to face increased activity of Cambodia Angkor Air which is planning to react strongly to the new competitor. CAA already announced to be ready to increase its frequencies on its Siem Reap-Phnom Penh up to six times a day during the high season and to upgrade its Sihanoukville-Siem Reap route into a daily one. Internationally, CAA is now planning to serve China PRC as well as South Korea.

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