Cambodia Angkor Air Offers Charter Flights to S’Ville Airport

Cambodia Angkor Air will offer domestic charter flights to Preah Sihanouk International Airport and a limited number of flights will take place this year, a spokesperson for airline said yesterday.

“In the future until the end of this year we’ll maybe have two or three [charter flights],” said Dinh Quang, an assistant to CAA’s chief executive.

Mr Quang said charter flights would be scheduled on demand from travel agents requesting trips for clients to and from Siem Reap and Preah Sihanouk province.

“The charter flight is just very random,” he said. “Whenever we receive a request we make a charter, we consider the price, the aircraft, the availabilities, and we will make a decision,” he said.

Mao Havanall, secretary of state for the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation, said that CAA has informed the authority of it plans to operate charter flights to the little-used Preah Sihanouk International Airport. But the regularity of those flights is still unknown, he said.

“I also myself hope the Cambodia Angkor Air [will] schedule flights. But they discuss with me that first they want to do the charter flight,” Mr Havanall said.

CAA is also in the process of conducting a market survey to assess the potential clientele for flights from Preah Sihanouk city by passengers on cruise liners that stop at the nearby Sihanoukville port, Mr Havanall said.

The growing number of cruise ship arrivals should encourage airlines to tap visitors looking to purchase short return trips to the Angkor temple complex in Siem Reap, he said.

Khek Norinda, communications manager for Societe Concessionnaire des Aeroports, the national airport operator, said his firm had financed a charter flight for CAA in March, during which 21 South Korean tour operators were briefed on Cambodia’s main tourism destinations.

Interest in scheduled flights to and from Preah Sihanouk International Airport had previously been raised by airlines such as Bangkok Airways, but no pledges have ever materialized.

In October Terry Alton, general manager for Siem Reap Airways – which was banned from the skies in Nov 2008 for failing to comply with safety regulations of the International Civil Aviation Organization – said the airline was planning “early operations” to Preah Sihanouk city with “international flights shortly afterwards.”

But with the arrival of an aircraft still pending, officials at the company have said they are still awaiting clearance from the SSCA to begin operations again.

Mr Havanall said that Siem Reap Airways was in the later stages of making its return, although he did not know when that would happen.


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