New local airline launches in Cambodia

Angkor Wat is a magnet for visitors to Siem Reap in Cambodia, and is now served by a new local airline. (Bangkok Post file photo)

PHNOM PENH - JC International Airlines officially launched in Cambodia on Saturday, bringing the number of local airlines operating in the kingdom to five.

JC International Airlines CEO Dongyan Huang said the airline was registered as a local company with an investment capital of US$50 million. 

She said the airline has two Airbus 320 aircraft with daily flights between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, and Siem Reap and Sihanoukville.

Ms Huang said JC International Airlines would first open and serve the domestic market, but would soon expand routes to include Asean member states and China - Taiwan, Macau and Hong Kong - as well as South Korea, Japan and Europe.

“We love Cambodia. We found that Cambodia has good political and economic stability and is improving remarkably in the aviation sector,” she said.

“We want to contribute to this sector so we will import new technology from China to Cambodia to make it better and modern.”

By the end of 2017, JC International Airlines planned to add three additional aircraft, Ms Huang said.

Mao Havannall, secretary of state at the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation, welcomed the move, saying that air transport plays a vital role in the world economy and remains one of the fastest-growing industries, according to a report in the Khmer Times.

In 2015, nearly 3.6 billion passengers were carried by the world’s airlines, according to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), he said. Passenger numbers were forecast to reach 7.3 billion by 2024.

He said Cambodia had seen remarkable growth of its aviation industry. 

In 2015, the kingdom’s three international airports together received 6.4 million passengers, a 13% increase over 2014. last year there were seven million passengers.

So Mara, secretary of state at the Ministry of Tourism,  said the tourism sector had generated more than $3 billion in national revenue, contributed about 12% to GDP and created more than 620,000 jobs, and many others indirectly.

“The 2.7 million international tourists arriving by air account for more than 54% of total arrivals, an increase of around 9.2%. The airlines and airports play a vital role in this sector,” Mr Mara said.

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