AirAsia Cambodia to debut soon

Chea Vannak / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Tony Fernandes, AirAsia CEO. Reuters

Asia’s largest budget airline AirAsia, headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, plans to open a subsidiary company in Cambodia to handle an anticipated increase in the number of passengers travelling to Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville from Malaysia.
The subsidiary, said the Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol yesterday, would be named AirAsia Cambodia.
“The purpose of forming AirAsia Cambodia was brought up by AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes in his meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen last week at the sidelines of the World Economic Forum on Asean,” said Mr Chanthol.
“Mr Fernandes told the prime minister that AirAsia Cambodia, as AirAsia’s new subsidiary company, would be needed to handle an increasing number of air travelers from Malaysia to Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville,” he added.
“The prime minister, in turn, replied that he was behind Mr Fernandes’s decision 100 percent.”
Mr Chanthol said AirAsia’s decision to start a new subsidiary company in Cambodia reflected the aviation industry’s confidence in the country’s open skies policy.
“Cambodia’s open skies policy promotes Asean connectivity and this in turn allows more goods to be transported and more people to travel to other countries,” he said.
When asked by reporters when AirAsia Cambodia would start up in the country, Mr Chanthol said the proposal was now with the Council of Ministers for approval.
The decision to form AirAsia Cambodia came after Mr Fernandes announced at a press conference on Thursday that his airline plans to launch a new service from Kuala Lumpur to Sihanoukville city.
“There will be four AirAsia flights a week from Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 to Sihanouk International Airport on the Airbus 320,” he said. The first flight is scheduled for August 9.
Mr Fernandes said he recognised the potential of Cambodia’s international airports to handle an increased number of arrivals from overseas.
“We think the Cambodian air travel market could be lucrative and the timing to expand our routes is perfect,” he said.
AirAsia currently flies daily from Kuala Lumpur to Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.
“We hope in time to come that people may come to Phnom Penh and then go to Sihanoukville,” Mr Fernandes said.
“We are about to invest for the long term and see huge potential in these airports.
“It is about connectivity and I think one of the most important aspects is for the people of Sihanoukville to have another option to fly.
It is not just about tourism. We also hope small businesses can benefit by expanding their businesses into Asean.”

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