Mekong Airlines expects profits after first year

KUALA LUMPUR: Mekong Airlines, Cambodia’s new designated carrier, targets to achieve 90% passenger load factor when it commences operations on Jan 15, said Mekong Air Services Sdn Bhd managing director Chung Leik Kok yesterday. 

The target could be achieved in the first year of its operations following the positive economic and geopolitical development in Cambodia and the aggressive publicity undertaken to bring in more flights into the country, he said. 

Speaking at a press conference after the launch of Mekong Airlines Agents workshop here by Cambodian Charge D’Affairs Ros Simara, he also said that the airline expects to be profitable after its first year of operations. 

Mekong Air Services, the Malaysian representive of Mekong Airlines, is the airline’s general sales agent. 

A joint venture between Cambodians (51% equity stake) and foreign investors including from Malaysia, Singapore and Australia, Mekong Airlines’ initial operations would cover routes from Phnom Penh to Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Hong Kong and the Indochina region. 

The Kuala Lumpur-Phnom Penh sector would be served by flights on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday each week. 

Chung said that the operations would start with a Boeing 737-500 that has a seating configuration of 10 first class seats and 94 economy class seats. 

By March, Chung said that Mekong Airlines would expand its operations by flying to China and Japan using Airbus aircraft. 

To a question, he said that despite the airline industry's tough environment, Mekong Airlines would work hard at capturing “a good share” of the market. 

Foreign investors are welcome to invest in all types of industries including tourism, education and construction, said Simara. 

She said that the Cambodian government offers various incentives to woo foreign investments such as import-duty exemption and land offerings. – Bernama 

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