Airbus SE has expressed interest in selling its A220 family of jet airliners on the Cambodian aviation market as the number of foreign tourists and Cambodians flying continues to rise.
The firm is currently showcasing its A220-300 airliner in a demonstration tour across the Asia-Pacific region. The aircraft is capable of carrying 130-160 passengers and flying 6,300km non-stop.
At a press conference on its tour at Phnom Penh International Airport on Thursday, senior product marketing analyst Connor Buott said the Kingdom’s aviation market is small but has high potential due to its strategic geographical location between the Middle East, Japan and Australia.
“Airbus has not received any orders from airlines in Cambodia so far, but we expect to have some after the demonstration,” he said.
In Cambodia, there are currently 27 Airbus aircraft in operation – none of which are the A220 – by six domestic companies – Bassaka Air Ltd, Cambodia Airways Co Ltd, Cambodia Angkor Air, JC (Cambodia) International Airlines Co Ltd, Lanmei Airlines Co Ltd and Sky Angkor Airlines Inc.
Airbus predicts that the Kingdom’s air freight market will see robust growth, while passenger transportation grows more than seven per cent per annum over the next 20 years.
Cambodia has 830 international flights and 153 domestic flights per week. Forty-nine airlines operate flights to 86 destinations in 12 countries. This is a significant increase from the past four-to-five years, September data from the Ministry of Tourism shows.
During the first eight months of this year, 4.3 million tourists visited Cambodia, an increase of 10.4 per cent over the same period last year. Foreign arrivals by air numbered 3.1 million, up 16.6 per cent year-on-year, the ministry’s data said.
As of September 30, there are currently 90 Airbus A220 airliners in operation by seven major companies including SWISS, AirBaltic, Korean Air, Delta Air Lines, Air Tanzania and EgyptAir. Meanwhile, 22 major airlines have ordered an additional 525, data from Airbus shows.
Buott said the firm forecasts that air travel volume in the Asia-Pacific region will increase nearly 2.3 times by 2037.