Cambodia Investment Review

Seaplane Asia Limited and the Royal Group Launch Kingdom’s First Premium Seaplane Service to Set Boost High-End Tourism

Seaplane Asia Limited and the Royal Group Launch Kingdom’s First Premium Seaplane Service to Set Boost High-End Tourism

Cambodia Investment Review

Cambodia is set to revolutionize its aviation and luxury tourism industry with the launch of its first premium seaplane service. The historic joint venture between Seaplane Asia Limited and the Royal Group of Cambodia, inked on June 9, 2023, has been christened Royal Group Samra Seaplane, aiming to enrich the Cambodian lifestyle and transportation landscape.

The partnership aims to pool their respective strengths, knowledge, and resources to create a sophisticated, eco-friendly seaplane operation. By doing so, the venture hopes to significantly improve air access and interconnectivity for Cambodian residents, businesses, and tourists alike. However, the scope of the venture isn’t confined to boosting tourism; it also intends to provide comprehensive services that will set a new standard for scalable seaplane transportation across the region.

Natural beauty of Cambodia as a unique selling point

The joint venture underlines the unique selling point of Cambodia – its breathtaking natural beauty. As Seaplane Asia Limited’s CEO, Mr. Dennis Keller, said, “Cambodia, with its captivating rivers, lakes, and coastal regions, is perfectly suited for amphibious seaplane operations.” He expects their seaplane service to provide an unprecedented experience for both residents and visitors, connecting various Cambodian destinations while offering stunning aerial views of the country’s spectacular landscapes.

Read more: Cambodia’s Economy to Accelerate On Tourism Recovery says ADB

Neak Oknha Kith Meng, Chairman of The Royal Group.

Neak Oknha Kith Meng, Chairman of The Royal Group, concurred with Keller’s sentiments. “This joint venture manifests our strong dedication to fostering innovation and revolutionizing transportation options in Cambodia,” said Meng. “Through Royal Group Samra Seaplane, we aim to provide extraordinary and unforgettable travel experiences, connecting Cambodia’s beautiful landscapes in ways previously unimagined.”

This landmark venture comes at a crucial stage in the development of Cambodia’s tourism sector. The country is slowly expanding its focus beyond conventional tourist attractions, such as the renowned Angkor Wat temple and Phnom Penh. The Minister of Tourism, Mr. Thong Khon, has articulated a strategic vision promoting nature tourism, adventure activities, community-based tourism, and ecotourism, offering visitors a more diversified and comprehensive experience of Cambodia.

More than just a premium tourist service

However, the ambitions of Samra Seaplane stretch beyond tourism. Captain Lionel Vincent Mougel, Seaplane Asia’s COO, detailed the company’s vision. “Samra Seaplane aspires to be more than just a premium tourist service. We envision a comprehensive transportation solution that addresses various needs and contributes to Cambodia’s overall development,” Mougel stated. “By leveraging the capabilities of seaplanes, we can positively impact sectors like healthcare, logistics, and emergency services, improving the lives of the Cambodian people.”

Seaplane Asia Limited’s CEO, Mr. Dennis Keller.

The joint venture harnesses the individual strengths of The Royal Group and Seaplane Asia. The Royal Group contributes its deep understanding of the local market, a strong network, and a history of transformative ventures, providing extensive local expertise. Seaplane Asia brings technical and operational expertise, proven seaplane service skills, and access to a fleet of amphibious Cessna Grand Caravans, ensuring the venture’s technical prowess.

An increased demand for local pilots

The advent of new airlines and a promising tourism forecast hint at a resurgence in Cambodia’s aviation industry, implying a return to pre-pandemic levels. This growth brings along opportunities, notably the increased demand for local pilots. Historically, Cambodia’s aviation industry was heavily dependent on foreign pilots, as they had access to advanced flight training programs abroad. Consequently, Cambodian aspirants had to pursue training in other ASEAN nations, incurring additional costs and restricted opportunities for domestic career growth.

Read more: Need For Local Pilots Set to Rise In Cambodia’s Developing Aviation Industry

However, the rapid transformation and expansion of Cambodia’s aviation industry, driven by new market players, are creating diverse opportunities within the country. This shift heralds a new era for aspiring Cambodian pilots, enabling them to train and build their careers domestically.

Samra Seaplane fleet of amphibious Cessna Grand Caravans

Kirill Bratchenko, Managing Director of Novation Academy, noted the changing dynamics of the industry, observing that the growth of the domestic aviation sector and the launch of new airlines have created more substantial opportunities for local pilots. Hence, Cambodian pilots are now better positioned to seize these opportunities without needing to train abroad. Jim Baldy, CEO of Yugo Cambodian-based private aviation booking company – Yugo Private Aviation – expressed his excitement about the seaplanes’ arrival in Cambodia, lauding them as an excellent addition to the country’s aviation scene.

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