|Image Source: Airports International|
At present, Cebu Pacific is the only Philippine carrier travelling between the two countries with a direct flight from Manila to Siem Reap, home of the popular Cambodian tourist attraction, Angkor Wat. The letter comes as Philippine Airlines is preparing to close a deal with the Royal Group of Cambodia that will see PAL assuming a 49% stake in a new national carrier named Cambodia Airlines.
The moves are expected to break two existing monopolies with Cebu Pacific being the sole carrier between Manila and the Philippines while Cambodia Angkor Air holds a monopoly on the Cambodian domestic market. Further details on routes and launch dates have not been released. The new flights will likely be tailored to maximize the relationship between Cambodia Airlines and Philippine Airlines.
It is estimated that 97,000 Philippine tourists visited Cambodia in 2012, a 37 percent increase compared to 2011. The increase can be largely attributed to the entry of Cebu Pacific that began three weekly flights between the two countries in April 2012.