Sep 29, 2014

Start up airlines eye China

Apsara international air

A new airline, Apsara International Air, gained approval from Cambodia’s State Secretariat of Civil Aviation to fly domestic routes.

The local news channels reported that SSCA granted an Airline Operations Certificate (AOC) to Apsara International Air, 15 September.

The airline partly owned by Chinese and Cambodian investors received the green light after a filing its original application over a year ago.

The airline CEO, Zhang Xiao Peng, was quoted as saying that AIA will initially commence domestic flights using an Airbus A320 between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.

“We will start domestic flights, this month. Beginning next year we will launch flights from Cambodia to China,” he said.

“In 2016 and 2017 we will expand to Japan and South Korea and by the year 2019, we estimate we will have up to 50 aircraft.”

According to the SSCA, two more airlines — Bassaka Air and Bayon Airlines—are due to gain approval by this December.

Bassaka Air, is a partnership with a travel agency, China International Travel Services and local investors. It aims to fly from Phnom Penh to China using Airbus A320s this December.

Meanwhile, Cambodia Bayon Airlines, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cambodian-owned Bayon Holdings, is now joint venturing with Aviation Industry Corporation of China that has taken an undisclosed stake in the airline.

Like Apsara, Bayon plans domestic flights first with two Xian Aircraft Industry Company’s MA60 aircraft, but it will also link Cambodia to Chinese cities in the future.

The SSCA undersecretary, Chea Aun, said to maintain safety standards were scrutinised carefully before an AOC was granted.

Source: TTR Weekly


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