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AirAsia to open Cambodia office

Chea Vannak / Khmer Times Share:
AirAsia’s soon-to-be-opened office in downtown Phnom Penh is expected to bring in more tourists. Reuters

AirAsia, the Malaysia-based low-cost airline, will soon have an office in Cambodia to boost the number of tourist arrivals to the kingdom.
The airline’s office will open soon, said AirAsia CEO Anthony Fernandes, after holding a meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen in Switzerland on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum.
Mr. Hun Sen said AirAsia’s presence would bring more tourists to Cambodia, adding that the airline has helped transport tourists to Cambodia from all over the world.
Keo Sivorn, director general of the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation, said AirAsia’s decision to open an office in Cambodia was in response to the current demand of passengers and cargo to the kingdom.
“It will help the company provide additional satisfied service to its passengers,” said Mr. Sivorn.
“AirAsia has existing flight service operations to Cambodia. It will open an office here soon because it sees the demand of the aviation sector in Cambodia increasing thanks to the country’s high economic growth.”
The new office is also in response to the number of local airlines operating in the kingdom, Mr. Sivorn said.
Ho Vandy, secretary-general of Cambodia’s National Tourism Alliance, said AirAsia would bring more people from all corners of the world to Cambodia because of its popularity offering low fares.
“It’s a reflection of the airline market. It will serve the high demand of passengers and tourists traveling by plane and it will meet the government’s ‘Open Sky’ policy,” he said.
Two local airlines, which are expected to get off the ground this year, will push the total number of local airlines to six, according to Mr. Sivorn. The four now operating are Cambodia Angkor Air, Bassaka Air, Cambodia Bayon Airlines and Sky Angkor Airlines.
“By this year, the two airline companies will hopefully start providing service. Due to economic growth and stable politics, the number of airlines is increasing,” he said.
AirAsia is currently operating 67 flights per week out of Phnom Penh and Siem Reap international airports, according to Mr. Fernandes.
AirAsia swung to a profit in the third quarter of 2016 from a net loss a year earlier. Net profit for the three months ended September 30 was 353.9 million ringgit ($79.62 million), versus a net loss of 405.7 million ringgit a year earlier. Revenue rose 11.2 percent to 1.69 million ringgit, the company said.

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