Prime Minister Hun Sen will be flying to the Philippines today—but not on Royal Air Cambodge.
“We decided to hire a Chinese plane, because in the recent past a Royal Air Cambodge plane had a problem when the gasoline poured out,” said Hul Phany, protocol director at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“We have no confidence in RAC.”
The “problem” Hul Phany referred to occurred Aug 1, when a RAC plane set to fly King Norodom Sihanouk to Beijing began spilling fuel from its left wing.
Although RAC officials protested that the fuel tank had just been overfilled and the King was in no danger, the monarch rescheduled his trip aboard China Southern Airlines on Aug 6.
That is the airline which will carry Hun Sen to the Philippines for a two-day visit, and then to Brunei on Saturday for two more days.
Khieu Thavika, spokesman for the Council of Ministers, said the prime minister hopes Brunei, an oil-rich nation, will agree to provide technical training to Cambodians.
“Cambodia also has oil, so we want our technicians to study this field” for future oil development here, he said.
Also on the agenda are possible agreements on trade and airline service between the two countries, Hul Phany said.
He said the trade agreement is expected to be signed, but Brunei officials have indicated they might need more time to study Cambodia’s proposal on flight service.
In the Philippines, Hun Sen is expected to sign bilateral agreements on promoting and protecting investments, as well as preliminary agreements on tourism, rural-health development and visas.