Cambodia Bayon Airlines (CBA), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Aviation Industry Corporation of China, will start daily flights between Cambodian capital Phnom Penh and Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City from today, a company representative said yesterday.
“It will be the CBA’s first international flight after it has successfully operated domestic routes in Cambodia, connecting Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville,” Sreng Dara, a representative of the budget carrier, told Chinese news agency Xinhua.
The flight between Phnom Penh and Ho Chi Minh takes about 50 minutes.
The CBA signed an agreement to purchase 20 MA60 turboprop-powered aircraft from Xi’an Aircraft Industry Company in August last year. It announced that within five years, it would use the 20 MA60 aircraft and 10 A320 trunk liners to cover domestic routes in Cambodia and to connect Cambodia to other Southeast Asian nations and other Asian countries.
CBA joins just two other Cambodian airlines offering international flights: Cambodia Angkor Air and Sky Angkor Airlines, a South Korean-Cambodian joint venture.
Officials said competition would be good for the industry. It creates jobs and lower prices, they said.
A report from the Sydney-based Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation earlier this year said Cambodia had the fastest growing aviation sector in Southeast Asia last year. Passenger numbers jumped 13 percent, the report said.
Cambodia Bayon Airlines began flights from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville in April, about three months after it opened a daily route between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.