Thursday, November 4, 2010

Airport operator asks government to open up competition for flights to Sihanoukville

According to media sources in Phnom Penh, the airport operator is eager to open up competition for flights to Sihanoukville in the southern part of Cambodia.

Because national carrier Cambodia Angkor Air, which is affiliated with Vietnam Airlines, is reluctant to schedule flights to Sihanoukville, French airport operator SCA said on 27 October 2010 they were negotiating with several other airlines to start flights to the coastal destination. However, there is a lack of political will on the part of the Cambodian Government to open up competition for conflict of interests between Cambodia and Vietnam in the airline joint venture.

National carrier Cambodia Angkor Air is unwilling to extend regular flights Sihanoukville, which boasts a newly-extended airport, even though Cambodia’s southwestern coastline and islands are
considered a vital part of the country’s tourism growth strategy.

Vietnam Airlines, which operates Cambodia Angkor Air, actually doesn’t want Sihanoukville to seriously compete with nearby Vietnam’s Phu Quoc island, which is also a newly-developed destination for international tourism with a brand new airport.

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