SMC Establishes Cambodian Airline

PAL's first international subsidiary

Kith Meng, right, chairman of Royal Group, signs the deal with Ramon S. Ang, president and COO of San Miguel Corporation and Philippine Airlines. Image courtesy of Routes

April 3, 2013

San Miguel Corporation announces establishment of Cambodia Airlines in a joint venture agreement with the Royal Group of Cambodia.

Cambodia Airlines is a brand-new carrier that will fly domestic and international routes from Cambodia. It will be the second flag carrier in Cambodia to start operating.

"These are exciting times for the local aviation industry," Kith Meng, Chairman of the Royal Group said at the event.

Under the agreement, Kith Meng will have a 51-percent controlling share in the joint venture, while San Miguel Corporation will hold the remaining 49 percent stake.

"This joint venture is another strategic move in San Miguel's continuing diversification into fast-growing industries and economies," said San Miguel Corporation and Philippine Airlines chief operating officer and president Ramon S.Ang. 

"It is also a testimony of our commitment to make a difference in any business that we participate in--whether it be in the Philippines or internationally." Ang adds.

He said Philippine Airlines would bring in the expertise needed to build a world-class national carrier in Cambodia.

According to Royal Group CFO Mark Hanna, the airline will initially lease two Airbus A321s for international routes and two Bombadier Dash 8s for domestic flights.

Hanna said the airlines first international route would be from Phnom Penh to Manila, which will link up with Philippines Airlines flights going to the US, Canada and Australia.

Although routes had not yet been firmly decided upon, domestic flights could begin as early as June this year and international flights are expected to begin in October, he added.

Currently, besides the national flag carrier, Cambodia Angkor Air, there are 23 foreign airlines operating regular flights to Cambodia, according to the report of the state secretariat of civil aviation.  
The new airline is looking to capitalise on Cambodia's rapidly growing economy and air traffic numbers, as well as on the dynamic Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) region, which has plans for an integrated economic community by 2015.

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