PAL still pursuing Cambodia venture

PAL Holdings Inc., the operator of flag carrier Philippine Airlines, said Wednesday it will pursue the plan to invest in Cambodia Airlines.

The airline operator said in a disclosure to the stock exchange the “ongoing preparations for the completion of the contemplated joint venture agreement between Philippine Airlines Inc. and Inter Logistics [Cambodia] Co. Ltd. relating to Cambodia Airlines Co. Ltd. are currently being conducted.”

PAL president Ramon Ang earlier said the company had to review the planned investment because of the lingering political tension in Cambodia and to check whether the project was still viable or not.

The flag carrier teamed up with the Royal Group of Cambodia to establish its first international airline venture to be known as Cambodia Airlines.

PAL was supposed to invest $10 million in Cambodia Air for a 49-percent interest in the company.

The flag carrier, under the agreement, would own 49 percent of Cambodia Airlines while RGC, headed by Neak Oknha Kith Meng as chairman, would own the remaining 51 percent.

Inter Logistics (Cambodia) Co. Ltd. owns 100 percent of Cambodia Air while PAL is a joint venture between San Miguel Corp. and tycoon Lucio Tan.

The 10-percent downpayment was originally scheduled to be paid on July 15, 2013 while the balance was supposed to be settled upon the call of the board of directors of Cambodia Air.

Cambodia Air, under the plan, will fly to regional destinations as well as domestic routes in Cambodia.

The deal was estimated to give PAL revenues of $300 million and $400 million.

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