The launch of JC International Airlines, which started operations in Cambodia this month with daily flights connecting Siem Reap to Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville on two Airbus A320s, has been welcomed by the industry.
This brings the number of local airlines to five - the existing four are Cambodia Angkor Air, Cambodia Bayon Airlines, Bassaka Air and Sky Angkor Airlines - and hopes that the new Chinese-backed carrier will drive down airfares in the country.
Mick Spencer, owner of ANA Travel & Tours, said: “JC is welcome competition for existing airlines operating domestically.”
Heng Khan, manager of Mekong Tours, added that the additional flights make it easier for travellers on tight itineraries to explore Cambodia beyond Angkor Wat.
He said: “Many visitors come for just a few days. Affordable flights mean they can still see glorious Angkor Wat and enjoy our beautiful beaches and islands in a short holiday.”
Kimhean Srun, CEO of Cambodia Smile Travel, said: “The skies opening up further means we can fit more into visitors’ itineraries, and they can see more in a shorter time. This can only benefit the industry and lead to more development and quality.”
By end-2017, JC International Airlines plans to add an additional three aircraft to begin international routes to Vietnam, China, Japan, South Korea and Europe, according to CEO Dongyan Huang.