Royal Air Cambodge Delay Raises Some Travel Agent Ire

After a Royal Air Cambodge jet hit a gate at Pochentong Airport last week—reducing RAC’s fleet of three planes by one-third—the airline scrambled to find alternative flights for passengers, even booking them with competitors.

But several travel agents have complained to the airline, saying not enough was done.

Meng Phala, managing director of PI Travel, says he had to pay for several clients to stay in hotels overnight because connecting flights were not available until the following day. “If they cancel a flight, they have to take responsibility,” he said.

The 60-seat ATR-72 smashed into a wire fence in front of the VIP lounge at Pochentong Air­port during a routine checkup on Aug 19. The mishap caused some $5,000 in damage to the front of the plane. It was put back in service Monday, but RAC had grounded it for nearly a week.

Adrien Sen, RAC’s chief operating officer, acknowledged that many people were inconven­ienced, but he said the airline did all it could. “While I do sympathize with them—no one wants their business to be disrupted—there’s nothing much I can do,” he said. The airline, Sen said, could not pay for every passenger to stay in a hotel overnight. “Economically, it is not viable to do that,” he said. “But we have bent backwards to help people.”

Meng Phala said RAC is hurting Cambodia’s image as a possible tourist destination.

Prayut Veoung, business manager of Promtourimex, said the airline seems to be trying hard to satisfy its customers. “If you have no money, what can you do?” he said.



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