Snapshot Review: Cambodia Angkor Airlines

Cambodia Angkor Air is the flag carrier of Cambodia and was only founded in 2009. It’s a small airline with only 6 planes that will get you to the neighboring countries and around Cambodia. If you happen to visit and see Cambodia Angkor Air as an option, don’t worry – they are safe to fly and offer a good experience at reasonable prices. Check out the facts & figures of the airline and my experience flying them below!

Facts & Figures: Cambodia Angkor Air was founded as the country’s flag carrier in 2009, after the previous airline went bankrupt, in partnership with Vietnam Airlines. They currently operate a young fleet of only 6 planes, 2 Airbus A320 and 1 A321 jet and 3 ATR72 turboprop planes with an average age of only 6.2 years. They serve 20 destinations in Cambodia and the neighboring countries of Laos, Vietnam and China.
SkyTrax doesn’t rate Cambodia Angkor Air, but AirlineRatings gives it a good 6-out-of-7 rating – they have passed the IOSA airline audit, had no fatal accidents and you can feel safe flying them

Cambodia Angkor Air is (technically) a full-service airline, but only offers a business class on their single Airbus A321, with other planes only offering an Economy cabin in a standard 2-2 (ATR) or 3-3 (A320/321) layout.

Cambodia Angkor Air offers 1 checked bag of 23kg on domestic flights, as well as a carry-on of 7kg – that’s pretty generous. On international flights surprisingly, no checked bags are included and if you don’t buy upfront, it can get expensive at $5-10/kg at the airport, so plan accordingly!

The airline website is a little, well, quirky, so I ended up booking through an online travel agent (OTA) at a lower price point and it worked out without issues. There is no online sale of flight add-ons or online check-in, making it a little more hassle than with regional low-cost carriers.

Check-in for my domestic flight opened only 90 minutes before departure, but was quick and smooth once it started. Seats were assigned at check-in and I was able to request an aisle seat.
The boarding process was reasonably well organized and proceeded without issues. Service on the short, domestic flight was limited to getting passengers into their seats and the safety briefing and it was executed without anything to note.

The Airbus A320 has a 3-3 layout with slimline seats in a high-density configuration. The seat padding is pretty thin, making the seats ok for short flights.

I’d call a 29in seat pitch and the literature pocket is mounted up high, giving you a little extra space, but it’s a tight fit anyway you look at it, comparable to low-cost carriers in the region. There are no personal video screens, WiFi or power outlets.

There was no drink or food service on the short, domestic flight, but there were menus to purchase a limited number of food and drink items, presumably at longer, international flights. Our flight was delayed by about 30 minutes and there were no announcements.

Bottomline: Cambodia Angkor Air is a small airline offering flights to and among the tourist destinations, like Siem Reap, Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville. They are reasonably priced and safe to fly. You get an onboard product and service comparable to low-cost carriers, so don’t expect too much from the “full service carrier” description. They are fine for domestic flights when the times & prices are right. For international trips, I’d prefer one of the larger, regional airlines or their local, private competitor JC Cambodia International.
Given Cambodia Angkor Air’s  wonky website and the inability to purchase luggage at reasonable prices during the booking, I’d recommend to book through an OTA or a real-life travel agent if you have checked bags to avoid problems.

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