Vietnam Airlines has announced the transfer of the last share of Cambodia’s national carrier Cambodia Angkor Air.

Cambodia
Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia, is Asia’s tourist hotspot. | © Vicky T

Vietnam’s national carrier announced the final transfer of the last 35% share in Cambodia Angkor Air (K6) was completed to an undisclosed transferee earlier this week. This means Vietnam Airlines is no longer a stakeholder of Angkor Air and Cambodia Angkor Air is no longer an affiliate of VNA. Cambodia Angkor Air was founded as a joint venture of the Cambodia Government (51%) and Vietnam Airlines (49%) back in 2009.

Angkor Air Vietnam Airlines
Cambodia Angkor Air Airbus 320 is often seen with parts “borrowed” from Vietnam Airlines | © CambodiaAngkorAir

According to the audited financial statement in 2021, Vietnam Airlines had received a total of USD 34 million in early 2022 from the 35% share of Cambodia Angkor Air. Since the pandemic, Vietnam Airlines was hit hard by the country’s border policies. The mother company of Vietnam Airlines recorded a positive cash flow of USD 65 million in the first quarter of 2022 as the country opened up in March. The transfer of shares is part of the consolidation plan for Vietnam Airlines to survive the pandemic. Despite the soaring recovery, the airline is still hampered by raising oil prices and the highly competitive aviation market within the country.

Cambodia Angkor Air Vietnam Airlines
Aircraft parts are shared among Vietnam Airlines and Cambodia Angkor Air | ©jetphoto.com

Established in 2009 by the Cambodia Government (51%) and Vietnam (49%) Airlines after the fall of the previous flag-carrier Royal Air Cambodia, Cambodia Angkor Air now serves as the national carrier of the country. With its base in the capital Phnom Penh, the airline serves short-haul regional flights to nearby countries. As part of the agreement, Vietnam Airlines is responsible for providing support for the establishment and development of Cambodia Angkor Air in performing maintenance, repair, and daily operations. The fleet of Angkor Air consists of three  Airbus 320s and two ATR72, both models also employed by Vietnam Airlines. The close affiliation between the two airlines allowed Angkor Air to monopolise its country’s aviation market before the private airlines entered the market. The operations of Angkor Air are highly reliant on VNA, with its fleet leased entirely from VNA and most of its crew training done in Vietnam. It is likely Vietnam Airlines will continue to keep a close operational relationship.

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