Cambodia's Tonlé Sap Airlines to lease 757 from ILFC

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Cambodia's Tonlé Sap Airlines is planning to lease another narrowbody aircraft for its upcoming winter schedule, as growing numbers of European carriers seek to shed capacity during their traditional low season.

The Siem Reap-based carrier has agreed to take one additional Boeing 757 aircraft next month under a five-year operating lease with lessor ILFC.

Tonlé Sap, which currently operates two 757s and a single 737-300, had placed one of its 757s with Palau Airways in May under a sub-lease contract. The aircraft will be returned in July and then replaced by ILFC's 757, which is a 1996-vintage aircraft.

SkyGo Leasing, the aircraft leasing vehicle that is sourcing the 757 on behalf of ILFC, says it is in the market to place more aircraft for the upcoming winter season.

Shaun Monnery, executive vice-president for SkyGo, says they are holding discussions with European carriers and lessors for the placement of two more aircraft over the November-March period.

Monnery explains that alongside long-term aircraft acquisitions, SkyGo's business model focuses on counter-seasonal leasing. "SkyGo's core activity is to bring aircraft into markets for the high season only from markets that have a corresponding low season," he comments. "European carriers have too many aircraft, especially in the winter season."

"We have a requirement for two aircraft, but we could take three more aircraft for the upcoming season," he says, adding that discussions are ongoing with two start-up carriers in the region.

Tonlé Sap operates services to Taipei and Kaohsiung in Taiwan from its Siem Reap base, along with services to Inchon in Korea. It has recently stepped up services in the Chinese market, and by the end of the year will fly from Siem Reap to Beijing, Shanghai, Ningbo and Xiamen. Later route additions will include Chengdu, Chongqing, Hangzhou and Kunming.