Philippine Airlines Considers Cambodia Flights

An article in a Cambodian newspaper suggests that Philippine Airlines is once again revisiting the possibility of launching direct flights between the Philippines and Cambodia. At present, only budget carrier Cebu Pacific operates a service between Manila and Siem Reap. However, there is no direct link between the two capitals.

manila to siem reap flights
Copyright Photo: Angelo Agcamaran/PPSG
According to Cambodia's State Secretariat of Civil Aviation, the Philippine ambassador to Cambodia has requested that the Cambodian aviation regulator issue a permit for Philippine Airlines to open the first non-stop route between Phnom Penh and Manila.

Representatives from PAL are expected to meet the aviation regulator next week. However, it remains unclear whether Philippine Airlines will pursue a route to the Cambodian capital or compete directly with Cebu Pacific on its route to Siem Reap. 

Cebu Pacific has flown to Cambodia since 2012 with its fleet of Airbus A320 aircraft. Siem Reap is a popular tourist destination as it is the primary gateway to Cambodia's most famous attraction, the temple of Angkor Wat.

Cambodian aviation officials state that the Philippine embassy would like to see a direct link to Phnom Penh. However, Philippine Airlines has not revealed its intentions. It is believed that PAL would prefer to fly to Siem Reap. 

Cambodia Airports is responsible for management of the nation's three international airports. According to Pichr Sopontara, Routes Development Manager for Cambodia Airports, Philippine Airlines has no intention of flying to Phnom Penh. Sopontara stated that PAL is planning five weekly flights beginning in May between Manila and Siem Reap using A321 aircraft. He added that the carrier intends to increase the flights to daily service.

"It is a surprise decision for us since the traffic slightly decreased in 2015," said Sopontara. He noted that PAL's intention was unexpected given the decreased demand on the route and that the national flag carrier would compete directly with budget carrier Cebu Pacific. In Phnom Penh, Philippine Airlines would have no competition and Cambodia Airports is encouraging the carrier to pursue that route instead.

In 2013, under the previous management of San Miguel Corporation, Philippine Airlines planned a joint venture with the Royal Group of Cambodia to launch a new domestic carrier called Cambodia Airlines. PAL officials had previously blamed political issues in Cambodia as cause for delay of the project. However, rumours circulating in Cambodia suggest that PAL shelved the project after re-evaluating the feasibility of the joint venture.

References: Phnom Penh Post


  1. Me and my cambodian wife can visit her hometown via pal......los angelis to phnom penh via manila soon!

  2. It's a very great news. I do hope there will be an a new link very soon between Phnom Penh and Manila

  3. I'm really glad that PAL is considering to fly to Cambodia. They do need to link Manila in all ASEAN nations.

    However, I'm still wondering why they're not flying to Kuala Lumpur. KL is a major business hub in ASEAN and there are many OFW there as well.

    Come on PAL, I hope you also consider flying to KL!

    1. oh please, PAL and Malaysian Airlines are code share partners. So PAL sells KL routes but flown by Malaysian Airlines

    2. Too much competition between MNL and KUL. Malaysian Airlines has cheapest prices with perfect service! No chance for PR. But maybe flying to Penang or Johor Bahru would be a possibility. Same as maybe someday to Phuket in Thailand.

  4. Manila To Phnom Penh? its better

  5. I would be happy if Philippine Airlines would start flying to Phnom Penh instead of Siem Reap. I already waited long time. Until now the best route was with Malaysian Airlines via KL. And I am sure that this would be also another possibilitiy to get tourists from America and Europe (specially LHR) to Cambodia.

    PR already had direct flights to KUL before, but due to high competition with Cebu Pacific (5J), Malaysian Airlines (MH) and Air Asia (AK), they gave up flying there. So it would be crazy if they would make a new competition with 5J. Most philippine tourists take 5J, but international guests still know the better things of PR (even they are not many).

  6. And if PR would start flying from other european hubs like Rome, Milan, Paris, Amsterdam, Frankfurt or Istanbul someday, then the destination Phnom Penh would be perfect. At the moment there are only few airlines serving PNH with 1 airplane change from Europe, with all others you need 2 stopovers. And MNL is making better facilities for the transit room at the moment (in Terminal 2). Until now it was a kind of nightmare sitting in those old chairs inside the "transit lounge" with electricity plugs - more dangerous than working well.


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