PHNOM PENH, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia Bayon Airlines, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), was established in Cambodia on Thursday and first flights will begin by the end of this year, officials said.
"Cambodia Bayon Airlines is invested by Joy Air of AVIC," AVIC's Chairman Lin Zuoming said during the launching ceremony of the airlines. "The Bayon Airlines is China's first airline company that is set up overseas by using the aircraft manufactured in China."
He said the airlines is committed to becoming one of the major airlines in ASEAN countries.
"I have confidence that the airlines will help develop air transport services and tourism sector in Cambodia," he said. " Moreover, it will facilitate travelling from Cambodia to ASEAN countries in the future."
Chen Han Wei, chief executive officer of the Bayon Airlines, said the airlines will first operate with two Modern Ark 60 aircraft for regular domestic flights from capital Phnom Penh to cultural Siem Reap province and from Siem Reap province to coastal Preah Sihanouk province, and will gradually increase air routes from Cambodia to Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and other countries.
"The airlines will become the second airline to obtain the right to fly domestic routes in Cambodia after the national flag carrier Cambodia Angkor Air," he said.
Chen said at the start, the airlines will introduce two Modern Ark 60 aircraft in December this year, and in five years, a total of 20 Modern Ark 60 aircraft and 10 A320 trunk liners will be introduced.
"Bayon Airlines will use Cambodia as a center to connect Cambodia to ASEAN countries, China, Japan and South Korea," he said.
The launching ceremony was attended by Cambodia's Parliament Chief Heng Samrin, deputy Prime Minister and Cabinet Minister Sok An and Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia Bu Jianguo.
"AVIC's investment truly reflects investors' confidence in Cambodia's business opportunities," Sok An said. "The airlines will contribute to developing Cambodian tourism sector, which accounted for 16 percent or 2.5 billion U.S. dollars of the GDP last year."
He said so far, 27 airlines have been doing business in Cambodia.
Ambassador Bu said the airlines would contribute to developing air transport services in Cambodia and further promote the friendly relations and cooperation between China and Cambodia.
"I believe that Bayon Airlines will meet the increasing tourism demand in Cambodia and in its neighboring countries," she said.
At the ceremony, the airlines also signed a procurement contract of 20 Modern Ark 60 aircraft with Xi'an Aircraft Industry (Group) Company.