The kingdom’s national flag carrier, Cambodia Angkor Air, is the country’s first airline to receive the International Air Transport Association’s Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) certificate and has officially become a member of the IATA.
“The IOSA programme was developed by IATA to provide a common standard to evaluate an airline’s compliance with safety and quality,” said Tek Reth Samrach, chairman of the Cambodia Angkor Air, on Friday.
“This has made us the first Cambodian airline, which has benchmarked itself against international safety standards and has received recognition from IATA through the IOSA registration,” Mr Samrach said.
The IOSA registration process requires a comprehensive audit of operational standards, control processes and safety systems. The registration is audited every two years.
“With the IOSA certificate, Cambodia Angkor Air has officially become the member of the IATA,” said Mr Samrach.
“This is a huge milestone for Cambodia as the IATA is the trade association for the world’s airlines, representing some 275 airlines or 83 percent of total air traffic in over 117 countries,” he added.
“This is the first time in Cambodia’s history for an airline to receive this kind of certificate from the IATA.
“The IOSA is important as it will help the national airline cooperate with local, regional and international airlines.”
Cambodia Angkor Air currently operates flights in two domestic and nine regular international routes with 12 charter flights. The airline company uses six aircraft – three ATR and three Airbus 320 and Airbus 321.
Mr Samrach said that Cambodia Angkor Air would fly to more destinations when it takes delivery of 12 new aircraft in 2020 – four ATRs and eight Airbuses.
“Our new routes would include Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, South Korea, Macau and India,” he said.
According to Mr Samrach, Cambodia Angkor Air will focus on two markets this year – the Chinese and Indian markets.
“We hope to get more Chinese passengers, with the government’s plan to attract two million Chinese tourists by 2020,” he said.
“We are also setting our eyes on India. India has a huge domestic aviation market and Angkor Wat in Cambodia is the largest Hindu temple in the world.
“Cambodia Angkor Air will fly these Indian passengers to Cambodia to see Angkor Wat for themselves. We hope to get one to two million Indian tourists flying with us.”
Mao Havannal, secretary of state for the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation, welcomed the news that Cambodia Angkor Air passed IATA’s comprehensive audit on safety systems.
“It goes to show that Cambodia Angkor Air has international safety standards and this builds trust among its customers,” said Mr Havannal.