KC International Airlines – a Sino-Cambodian joint venture – on Friday received the Air Operator Certificate (AOC) and will begin flying domestically and internationally this month.
The State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) granted the AOC more than a year after the airline submitted the application.
“We are proud of our presence in the local aviation market and hope KC will contribute to the growth of the country’s economy,” said Yuhai Zheng, CEO of the airline.
“KC International Airlines is committed to providing hybrid airline services and to operate popular business routes. Our vision is to become the safest and most popular local airline in Cambodia and the leading airline in Southeast Asia,” he said.
The airline’ maiden flights – connecting Phnom Penh with Siem Reap and Sihanoukville – will take off today using Airbus A320 aircraft.
The first international flight is schedule for August 31 and will link Sihanoukville to Da Nang, in Vietnam, through a layover in Macau. Company representatives have announced that routes to Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan and a number of destinations within Asean will launch before the end of the year.
“We are now operating with just one airplane, but we will receive one more in October and a third in November, A320 and A321,” Mr Zheng said.
“We sincerely hope our presence will provide impetus to the development of the local aviation sector,” he added.
Mao Havanall, Secretary of State at SSCA, said the airline fully complies with all the requirements to operate in Cambodia’s rapidly developing aviation market.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate both SSCA and KC Airlines’ staff on their strong collaboration which has made this milestone possible,” Mr Havanall said.
KC International Airlines is the ninth startup airline in the Kingdom, according to the Secretariat of Civil Aviation. It will operate under the ICAO airport code ‘KCH’ and the IATA code ‘3Q’.
By the end of the year, nearly 10 million passengers are projected to pass through airports in the Kingdom, according to SSCA.
In 2017, Cambodian international airports welcomed a combined 8.6 million passengers.