Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Two China-backed airlines nearing govt approval, adding to Cambodia's crowded tarmacs

Two China-backed airlines nearing govt approval, adding to Cambodia's crowded tarmacs

Passengers board a flight to Phnom Penh from Siem Reap International Airport last year.
Passengers board a flight to Phnom Penh from Siem Reap International Airport last year. Scott Howes

Two China-backed airlines nearing govt approval, adding to Cambodia's crowded tarmacs

Two new joint Cambodian-Chinese airlines are expected to receive government approval to start operating in Cambodia by the end of the year or early next year.

MJ Airlines and Domrey Angkor Airlines are next in line to receive the air operator’s certificate (AOC) required to operate aircraft in the country, according to Sin Chanserey Vutha, a spokesman at the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation.

“Per their schedule, MJ Airlines will operate at the end of the year, and Domrey Angkor Airlines will start early next year,” Chanserey Vutha said on Sunday. “Both airlines are based on attracting Chinese arrivals to Cambodia’s aviation market.”

The two new approvals would bring Cambodia’s total number of airlines to nine, with four additional companies still waiting for AOC approval, the spokesman said.

A report from the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation released in February said that while Cambodia’s aviation sector was rapidly expanding, “it is hard to imagine a market the size of Cambodia supporting more than five airlines – let alone 10 – over the long run”.

“For the amount of new airlines, it is bit crowded to handle for aviation market,” Chanserey Vutha said. “But it is good that we have good competition, and it gives more options for customers.”

About 3 million passengers travelled through the airports in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville during the first quarter of this year, a 25 percent increase over last year, according to Khek Norinda, communication and PR director of Cambodia Airports.

“We may need more time and perspective to see to what extent the market will be able to absorb all the new local airlines,” Norinda said yesterday.

“The trend may tilt toward consolidation at some point.”

It wasn’t clear exactly where the new arrivals would fly in China and elsewhere in Asia.

MOST VIEWED

  • Government set to slash holidays

    The private sector has welcomed the government’s move to reduce the number of public holidays in the in the Kingdom – known for having the most public holidays in the world – by seven days. However, the government had just added the “Day of Remembrance” on

  • Kith Theang being held in PJ prison

    Kith Theang, the brother of prominent businessman Kith Meng, was charged by Phnom Penh Municipal Court late on Monday and sent to the capital’s Police Judiciare (PJ) prison over the nearly 50kg of drugs found in a February 23 raid by authorities on the Rock

  • ‘Kingdom lacks up to 400MW in available electricity’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on the general public, hoteliers and businesspeople with generators to use them as back-up as the Electricity Authority of Cambodia cannot generate enough electricity to meet needs due to low water levels in power station reservoirs. On Saturday evening

  • Sor Chandeth defends his criticism of Hun Sen

    Former senator Sor Chandeth has defended his choice of words when criticising Hun Sen, saying he was merely speaking metaphorically to attack the Prime Minister’s political life, not his actual person, as the latter seeks damages. [img] Chandeth spoke to The Post on Thursday,