The high airport fees make serving the Kingdom expensive, says the chief executive of AirAsia, one of the biggest low-cost airlines in the world.
Compared to other Asian countries, airport charges in Cambodia are restrictive and high just like over-flight fees—a factor that will affect the decision of the company whether to increase destinations and flight in the country.
“I’ve always had a bit of a problem with airports in Cambodia,” said Tony Fernandes, CEO of AirAsia during the launch of its ASEAN headquarters in Jakarta.
“But I know the Cambodian government is looking at it right now, because when they did those airports, there were no low-cost carriers.”
He noted that Cambodia still had room for growth, adding that the airline would meet with the government officials of Cambodia at the end of the month or beginning of next month to further tackle problems that might hinder air travel growth.
Fernandes also expressed his interest in Sihanoukville airport, which had seen only little activity outside charter flights.
“You have a fantastic airport in Sihanoukville where very few airlines are flying to right now. That would be an airport we’re interested in developing,” he said.
While AirAsia flights from the Kingdom to Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok are limited, Cambodia has benefited indirectly from efforts to boost regional tourism, said Meng Hient, owner of Exotissimo Travel Group and member of Cambodian Association of Travel Agents.