Cambodia is one of the smallest countries in Southeast Asia, yet it has more commercial airlines registered than Malaysia or Vietnam. Despite having less than 10 million air passengers a year, the Kingdom has now 7 home-based carriers and is due to see 3 more carriers starting to operate this year.
Many of them are actually affiliates of Chinese corporations and the passenger demand is driven by inbound tourist arrivals, particularly from China, but also a burgeoning outbound market with more Cambodians flying abroad for holiday.
The Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) estimates that Cambodia will have a fleet of 45 aircraft registered in the country by the end of the year compared to 30 in 2017.
Cambodia Airways first aircraft landed in Phnom Penh
Cambodia Airways (KR), a brand new airline starting operations in Cambodia this year, has announced the arrival of its first aircraft and looks forward to launching its first maiden-flight in July, following the confirmation of its AOC (Air Operation Certificate) from Cambodian civil aviation authorities.
As reported by The Phnom Penh Post, the airline is expected receive the second aircraft next month, with another five due to arrive by the end of the year.
“With Cambodia’s economic growth expecting to reach seven percent again this year and next, the company strongly believes the local airline industry will see positive growth and success in Asia”, the company said.
Cambodia Airways plans to add as many as 10 aircraft in the short term as it grows its number of destinations. The airline will first fly domestic routes offering promotional fares between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap from US$7.77. According to its website, it will launch its first international flight to Macau. However, flights cannot be booked for the time being as long as the AOC has not been confirmed.
The carrier looks first to expand its network to East Asia (China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan) before eventually serving Europe and Australia.
Two more airlines, China-backed KC International Airline and Thai-backed Air Siem Reap are commencing operations this year, increasing competition in the skies of Cambodia.
Baolau integrates online ticket booking for domestic and international flights in Cambodia operated by Cambodia Angkor Air (K6), Cambodia Bayon Airlines (BD) and Lanmei Airlines (LQ), connecting Phnom Penh (PNH), Siem Reap (REP) and Sihanoukville (KOS) with other destinations in Southeast Asia and East Asia.