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Saturday 10 December 2022

Cambodia to get a new airline with a familiar name

The travel industry is gaining momentum as we reach the final days of 2022.

Over the Covid era I barely heard a word from the AirAsia group. Now they seem to have breaking news just about every day.

AirAsia Aviation Group Limited (AAAGL), also known as Capital A, this week signed a joint venture agreement with Sivilai Asia to establish AirAsia Cambodia, a new low-cost airline to operate from Cambodia.

The new airline is aiming to cement AirAsia’s brand in Cambodia and Indochina, providing AirAsia with greater access to its domestic market and connecting to international markets across Asean, North Asia and beyond.

AirAsia Cambodia aims to stimulate the Cambodian aviation and tourism industries, launch new destinations, create jobs and bring low-cost flights to the country.

The agreement was signed by Tony Fernandes, the AirAsia founder, and Vissoth Nam, director of Sivilai Asia, in Phnom Penh.

Subject to obtaining regulatory approvals, the new airline is expected to commence operations in late 2023.

"We continue to focus on Asean, where we know best and our brand is the strongest," Fernandes said.

"Cambodia is the fifth Asean country where we are continuing our march of being the region’s number one mover of people and cargo, and providing a lynchpin of economic growth for Asean countries.

“2022 was about restarting our airline to pre-Covid levels. That machine is in place and will be completed by the second quarter of 2023. The second half of 2023 will be when we focus on our continued efforts in growth.

"We are confident of profitability in the first year. Cambodia is a market that is familiar to us and where we have deep infrastructure in place."

AAAGL operates five routes to Cambodia from Kuala Lumpur to Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, from Penang to Phnom Penh (starting January 3, 2023) as well as from Bangkok (Don Mueang) to Siem Reap and Phnom Penh.

Since entering the Cambodian market in 2005, AirAsia has carried over 10 million guests to and from Cambodia.

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