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Phuket: Cambodia to get new air carrier

Cambodia is expected to launch a new airline later this year after a deal was struck between one of the country’s biggest tycoons and Philippine conglomerate San Miguel Corporation.

Tuesday 23 April 2013, 11:16AM


San Miguel Corp already owns a controlling share in Philippine Airlines (above). Now it has 49 per cent of the fledgling Cambodia Airlines. Photo: Renzelle Mae Abasolo
San Miguel Corp already owns a controlling share in Philippine Airlines (above). Now it has 49 per cent of the fledgling Cambodia Airlines. Photo: Renzelle Mae Abasolo

Business tycoon, Kith Meng, who is chairman of Royal Group that controls a hotel, media and telecoms empire, inked the deal late on Tuesday with the Manila-based firm, which already owns a controlling stake in Philippine Airlines (PAL), according to a statement.

The Cambodian businessman will own 51 per cent of the newly-minted carrier — Cambodia Airlines — the statement said, adding that the Philippine company will own the remaining 49 per cent.

Cambodia is expected to launch a new airline later this year after a deal was struck between one of the country’s biggest tycoons and Philippine conglomerate San Miguel Corporation.

Kith Meng, chairman of Royal Group – a hotel, media and telecoms empire – inked the deal late on Tuesday with the Manila-based firm, which already owns a controlling stake in Philippine Airlines (PAL), according to a statement.

The Cambodian businessman will retain a 51 per cent share of the newly-minted carrier – Cambodia Airlines – the statement said, adding that the Philippine company will own the remaining 49 per cent.

The new airline, the country’s second, will “contribute to Cambodia’s economic growth by creating employment opportunities, bringing investors and building a strong aviation industry”, Kith Meng said in the statement.

Royal Group’s chief financial officer Mark Hanna said that domestic flights could begin as early as June this year with international routes taking off in October.

“There is a huge growth in tourism and that has a direct impact on aviation,” Hanna said, predicting the Cambodian aviation industry will surge over coming years.

Cambodia’s first national airline, Cambodia Angkor Air, launched in 2009, after a previous effort folded in 2001.

More than 20 foreign airlines, including Japan Airlines and Qatar Airways, currently operate flights to Cambodia.

San Miguel has been aggressively branching out into new ventures like oil refining, aviation and power generation to beef up its core businesses that includes a brewery now in its 123rd year.

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