Cambodia's Secretariat of State Civil Aviation (SSCA) has confirmed several more start-up carriers are in various stages of applying for their respective Air Operator's Certificates (AOC) with at least two due to launch later this year/early next year.

“Per their schedule, MJ Airlines (Phnom Penh) will operate at the end of the year, and Domrey Angkor Airlines (Phnom Penh) will start early next year,” A spokesman for the SSCA, Sin Chanserey Vutha, told The Phnom Penh Times.

Both carriers are backed by Chinese capital as are several others that have also started the licencing gaunlet. KC International Airlines, Prince International Airlines, Air Siem Reap (backed by Bangkok Airways), and Cambodia Airways have applied for licences to join the local market, but are still waiting for their applications to be approved.

“These companies have been interested in the local aviation market since last year, but it takes time to process their applications. Sometimes, it takes up to six months,” he added.

Despite its open market approach to licencing, Cambodia has set the bar relatively high for new entrants.

“Some of these companies have not been able to meet some of our requirements. For example, each airline must inject USD20 to USD30 million in their business during the first three years, not including aircraft, and is required to employ at least 100 staff," Chanserey added.

According to the ch-aviation airline module, there are currently eight largescale commercial carriers active in Cambodia namely Bassaka Air, Cambodia Angkor Air, Cambodia Bayon Airlines, JC International Airlines, Lanmei Airlines, Sky Angkor Airlines, Small Planet Airlines Cambodia, and Phnom Penh Air Cargo.