AirAsia Launches Seventh Airline: AirAsia Cambodia Took Off on 2 May 2024

AirAsia launched its seventh airline, AirAsia Cambodia (Flight Code KT), in Phnom Penh on 1 May 2024. The new airline commenced operations the next day on 2 May 2024 following the handover of its Air Operator’s Certificate two days earlier.

AirAsia Cambodia KT102 at Siem Reap Airport on 3 May 2024
AirAsia Cambodia KT102 at Siem Reap Airport on 3 May 2024

AirAsia Cambodia operates an initial fleet of two Airbus A320-200s from the hub of Phnom Penh International Airport, connecting travellers to Siem Reap and Sihanoukville, and beyond through hubs in Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok. As a group, AirAsia serves a total of six routes into Cambodia from Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok, carrying 1.3 million guests into the kingdom historically.

AirAsia Cambodia (KT) launches on 1 May 2024 with two A320-200 aircraft.
AirAsia Cambodia KT launches on 1 May 2024 with two A320 200 aircraft AirAsia photo

The start of the new airline represents an important milestone for the AirAsia Group as it recently announced its “ONE Airline” strategy.

“The wealth of opportunities present in Cambodia, a country with huge economic potential is truly compelling given its strategic location within the Asean region. Cambodia’s economic growth trajectory and increasing integration into the global economy position it as a key player in the region’s development landscape. AirAsia’s expansion into Cambodia underscores our profound grasp of the Asean market. Cambodia’s dynamic population of 17 million and its growing youth segment present a substantial consumer base and an opportunity to cater to domestic demand whilst contributing to its economic progress. As AirAsia Cambodia prepares for takeoff, we are excited to leverage these opportunities to a broader ecosystem across our Capital A lines of business. From our digital businesses, such as online booking app AirAsia MOVE to fintech BigPay, logistics Teleport, and Capital A Aviation Services Group, including our MRO service provider Asia Digital Engineering, we look forward to integrating a wide range of services that will strengthen our capabilities of offering unrivalled services to the Asean community.”

Tony FernandesCEO of Capital A

“The enhanced air connectivity has also contributed to the steady growth of the Asean tourism industry at an annual average rate of almost 10 per cent in the last decade. As AirAsia Cambodia joins the fray, we are poised to further expand on this growth while unlocking new experiences and opportunities for millions of Cambodians at the best value and world’s best services,” shared, Vissoth Nam, CEO of AirAsia Cambodia.

AirAsia Cambodia will announce its international destinations in the next quarter, following a careful assessment of the demand and market dynamics.

AirAsia Cambodia’s current fleet consists of two aircraft, with registrations XU-818 and XU-819, both of which are 12 years old. We were unable to attend the launch of AirAsia Cambodia because it happened on the same day as Emirates’ inaugural flight from Dubai to Phnom Penh, which included a stop at Singapore Changi Airport.

Elephant bar at Raffles Hotel Le Royal Phnom Penh
Elephant bar at Raffles Hotel Le Royal Phnom Penh

By chance, I ran into Tony Fernandes at the Elephant Bar in the Raffles Hotel Le Royal Phnom Penh, where I congratulated him on the launch of the new airline in Cambodia and wished him a happy birthday.

Another coincidence. Our round-trip flights from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap were also booked on AirAsia Cambodia. We flew on KT102 on 3 May and experienced the new airline firsthand. Sitting in row 1 gave us a clear view of boarding, sale of merchandise, and the crew at work.

Fourth from left Front row Dato Fam Lee Ee Chairman of AirAsia X Datuk Captain Chester Voo Deputy Group CEO Airline Operations of AirAsia Aviation Group Bo Lingam Group CEO of AirAsia Aviation Group Tan Sri Tony Fernandes CEO of Capital A Vissoth Nam CEO of AirAsia Cambodia at the send off ceremony for inaugural flight KT 102 bound from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap Cambodia on 2 May 2024 AirAsia photo

The very first flight departed from Phnom Penh International Airport at 7.40am the day before and landed at Siem Reap Angkor International Airport at 8.30am. All guests travelling to Siem Reap were sent off by Bo Lingam, Group CEO of AirAsia Aviation Group and Vissoth Nam, CEO of AirAsia Cambodia, along with AirAsia management and Allstars. Subsequently, the airline will also connect Siem Reap to Sihanoukville today, connecting three domestic destinations within Cambodia.

“We are honoured to jointly celebrate the birth of our seventh AirAsia branded airline with our guests. Leveraging our strong foothold in ASEAN, AirAsia Cambodia is set to provide connectivity to over 130 destinations across Asia and beyond. With a track record of unlocking opportunities in underserved markets, we’re poised to catalyse a new era in Cambodia’s tourism industry and economy by making regional exploration more accessible to all.”

Bo Lingam, Group CEO of AirAsia Aviation Group 

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Middle aged curious individual trying to find a balance in keeping healthy and finding joy keeping fit. Because trying new food and drink is part of the work.

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