JC Cambodia International Airlines is a new airline serving Cambodia and cities in the region with a small fleet of Airbus jets. You get friendly service, free checked luggage and food included in low fares! I flew them on domestic and international flights and was pleasantly surprised! They offer a low-cost alternative on routes served by few airlines and I wouldn’t hesitate to fly with them again.
Facts & Figures: JC Cambodia International Airlines was founded in 2014 by Chinese investors and launched service in 2017 with service to 3 Cambodian destinations.
Today, JC International has a fleet of 5 Airbus A320 and is serving 12 destinations in Cambodia and the region, including airline hubs in Bangkok, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Taipei and Singapore. They are expecting to add 7 more A320 in 2018 as well as A330 in 2019 to commence service to Europe and Australia.
Neither SkyTrax nor AirlineRatings have reviewed JC International at this time. Given that Cambodia has not passed the ICAO Country Audit, JC will at best have a 5-out-of-7 safety rating. JC International hasn’t had any incidents in their brief history.
Experience: Booking: JC International Airlines is not widely available on booking sites online, so you might miss their offerings. You can book all flights directly on their website. The site is in English and easy enough to use. You can select any of their destinations and your dates and will be presented with available flights and the fares on dates prior/after your desired date. You even see the number of available tickets, so you’ll know whether to be quick! You can register as a user to purchase tickets and have three options for payment. I found iPayLinks easy to use – it processes credit cards for JC without any issues.
Insider Tip: JC International promotional fares are not available via Kayak or other booking sites. I was able to find a fare of only $61 for my flight from Phnom Penh to Singapore, when Kayak showed $135 and any other airlines was between $139-349 for that flight! It pays to book direct!
Pre-departure: JC Cambodia International offers a generous 20kg of checked luggage on domestic and international flights free, as well as 7kg of carry-on and a personal item.
You can’t select seats at the time of booking and can’t check in online. Check-in at the Cambodian airports is handled by contract staff for all airlines and it worked like clock work in both Siem Reap and Phnom Penh: Counters were assigned 2h prior to departure and staff processed the check-in and assigned seats quickly. I was able to ask for aisle preference and forward seats at check int, but exit row or bulkhead seats cost extra – $20 for domestic and $30 for international flights.
Boarding was just as on time and well organized. People in wheelchairs were boarded first, then everybody else.
On-board: The JC Airbus A320 is configured in a standard 3-3 layout with 180 seats and a 29in seat pitch, using slimline seats. It’s a pretty typical layout for low-cost carriers (or full service airlines these days!) and a tight fit if you are tall.
The crew uniforms are classic Khmer dress and materials, making for an exotic touch and a more upscale feel. Staff was very friendly and attentive – they would put any US airline to shame!
While the A320 are outfitted with TV screens in the ceiling and volume controls at each seat, no entertainment was provided on either flight.
To my surprise, on the 2 hour international flight, a meal was served. It contained a hot rice dish with beef, a slice of cake and some water. It was comparable to other airlines in the region – and certainly better than what 5-star airline Cathay Pacific serves in Economy on short flights!
Bottomline: JC Cambodia International is a new airline that offers very low fares on flights in Cambodia and international routes. The planes are new, service is very good and food and checked luggage are included in the fare – that puts JC International a step above low-cost airlines in the region and I’ll seek them out for future flights to or around Cambodia!