Bangkok Airways to lose Cambodian route

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Thailand's Bangkok Airways will not be allowed to operate on Cambodia's Phnom Penh-Siem Reap route after 25 October, when its agreement with the country expires.

The airline took over the service from its subsidiary Siem Reap Airways in November. However, the Cambodian government is keen to grant Cambodia Angkor Airways exclusive rights to the route, which is the nation's most lucrative. Cambodia Angkor launched in July as a new national carrier.

"Now that we have our own domestic airline, Bangkok Airways will not be allowed to continue flights when the agreement finishes on October 25," Mao Havannal, head of the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA), was quoted as saying in local media.

Bangkok Airways began operating four daily flights between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap last November after the SSCA grounded Siem Reap Airways.

Cambodia Angkor is 49% owned by Vietnam Airlines, from which it leases two ATR 72-500s and an Airbus A321. The airline flies on several domestic routes and offers international services to Vietnam.