PHNOM PEHN (Khmer Times) – Cambodia Bayon Airlines conducted a successful demonstration flight of one of its aircraft on Sunday, fulfilling the final requirement needed for the Chinese-owned airline to secure the permit required to begin scheduled domestic service.
One of the startup airline’s two Chinese-made Modern Ark 60 (MA60) turbo-prop aircraft departed from Phnom Penh International Airport at 2:15 pm and touched down in Siem Reap 50 minutes later, before returning to Phnom Penh after a short layover. Passengers on the demo flight included aviation officials, airline executives, Chinese investors and members of the press.
“Thisshows that the MA60 is comfortable with making a flight of this distance,” said Bai Wei Dong, Bayon’s director of marketing and ground handling.
The successful demo flight fulfilled the final requirement to receive an air operator certificate (AOC) that will allow Bayon Airlines to commence regular scheduled service.
“It was very successful with stable aircraft performance,” a Cambodian Civil Aviation Authority official said after the plane landed smoothly in Siem Reap. “The flight indicators are in compliance with the assessment criteria. We will give an AOC to Bayon Airlines soon so that passengers can experience their quality of service.”
Mr. Dong said Bayon has already booked charter flights and could begin regular service between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap by the end of the month.
Bayon Airlines, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), will start operations with two MA60 aircraft purchased in August from the manufacturer, China’s state-owned Xian Aircraft Industry. The airline has committed to buying 18 more MA60s through 2020 to cover domestic routes in Cambodia and regional international flights. The airline also plans to operate Airbus A320 aircraft on medium and long-haul international routes within Asean.
A Bayon representative said as Khmer Times went to press that the airline will officially receive its AOC on Tuesday, Dec. 23.