Plane Moved; Airport Open

Siem Reap International Air­port reopened early Wednesday morning after an aircraft that had been blocking the runway was removed from the mud.

It took three tons of equipment and about four hours to pull the Siem Reap Airlines ATR 72 turbo-prop plane back onto the runway, said a Bangkok Airways official who asked not to be named.

The plane, which veered off the runway Sunday afternoon, forced the airport to close, causing the loss of tens of thousands of dollars to the government and private firms that rely on the air­port to bring tourists to Angkor Wat.

Officials at Bangkok Airways, the parent company of Siem Reap Airways, would not discuss how much they had to pay to remove the plane or other damages.

The airline was forced to pay for the layover costs for dozens of stranded passengers, and will likely have to pay compensation to other airlines because of losses they incurred due to the mishap, officials said.

The Bangkok Airways official also would not discuss whether the pilots of the aircraft had been disciplined for the incident.

Meanwhile, national carrier Royal Air Cambodge remained with­out aircraft Wednesday, after its former joint partner, Malaysian Air Services Bhd, reclaimed its last jetliner Tuesday.

No new investor has been found. Officials said they are still trying to find a way to reinvest money in the debt-ridden airline.


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