Formed in 2003 and started operations in 2004. Scheduled, international, passenger, jet airplane services.
107 Norodom Boulevard
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
The Kingdom of Cambodia was established in 1945, covers an area of 181,035 sq km, has a population of 11 million, its capital is Phnom Penh, and its official language is Cambodian.
Covering an area of 181,035 square kilometres, Cambodia is about half the size of Germany. In the West, the country is bordered by Thailand, in the North by Laos, and in the East by Vietnam. By far the most important river of Cambodia is the Mekong, which passes through the country for about 500 kilometres in a northsoutherly direction. The Mekong is passable for ships from its delta in Vietnam until Phnom Penh. Southeast Asia's largest lake, Tonle Sap, is in Cambodia and is connected to the Mekong by a short river, also called Tonle Sap. For most of the time, this river flows from lake Tonle Sap into the Mekong. However, during the Southeast Asian rainy season from June to October, when the Mekong drains large areas of Southeast Asia, the Tonle Sap river flows from the Mekong back into lake Tonle Sap, thus causing enormous floods in the area surrounding the lake. During this time, lake Tonle Sap can swell to more than twice its regular size. Central Cambodia is a fertile plain. Mountain ranges in the shape of a semicircle form a natural boundary with Thailand. In the West are the Cardamon Mountains (designated after the spice of the same name), in the Southwest the Elephant Mountains and in the North the Dankret Mountain Range. The highest mountain in Cambodia is Phnom Aural in the Cardamon range, at a height of 1,813 metres. To date these mountain ranges are comparatively densely covered with forest and are only sparsely populated. All three are still operating areas of the Khmer Rouge guerrillas. The southern coastal strip has never been of importance for the Cambodian economy. It is separated from the central plain by difficult terrain. The Mekong has always been the economical conduit of Cambodia.
Just like the Thais, the Cambodians distinguish three major seasons: the cold season from November to January, the hot season from February until April or May, and the rainy season from May or June to October. During the rainy season, about four fifths of the total annual precipitation pours down upon the country.
In 1994, Cambodia counted a population of 8.9 million. This made Cambodia the second smallest country in Southeast Asia in terms of population. Most other Southeast Asian countries outnumber the population of Cambodia several times: Indonesia with 191.1 million, Vietnam with 73 million, the Philippines with 65.6 million, Thailand with 59.5 million, Myanmar with 45 million, and Malaysia with 19.4 million. Only Laos is less populated, with 4.5 million. By comparison, the city state of Singapore counts a population of around 3.1 million. In 1975 Cambodia's population numbered 7.2 million. During the four years reign of the Khmer Rouge, the population dropped to around 6 million, mostly due to the genocide committed by the Khmer Rouge, but also owing to starvation and migration of large numbers of people, especially ethnic Vietnamese. The dominant ethnic group are the Khmer, about 85% of the population. The remainder are mostly Vietnamese, along with around 100,000 ethnic Chinese, and some 100,000 Muslim Chams. A number of primitive tribes make up the remainder.
The Vietnamese presently still count for more than >5%, maybe even as much as 10% of the population. During the reign of the Khmer Rouge, a large portion of Cambodia's Vietnamese population fled to Vietnam, but returned after the Vietnamese military invasion in 1979, along with further Vietnamese immigrants. After the Khmer Rouge in 1993 attacked Cambodian families of Vietnamese origin, and cruelly killed entire families, including women and children, at least 20,000 Cambodians of Vietnamese origin, fled to Vietnam. In Cambodia, tensions between Khmer and ethnic Vietnamese have been the norm for centuries, and ethnic Vietnamese are poorly integrated into the Khmer population. Hatred of the Vietnamese and anything Vietnamese is the only emotion the Khmer Rouge can still incite in their countrymen. Compared to the ethnic Vietnamese, the ethnic Chinese are better integrated into the Khmer population. Before the Khmer Rouge took power in April 1975, the Chinese, or Khmer families with Chinese ancestry, played an important part in the Cambodian economy and in politics. Lon Nol, the dictator who ruled Cambodia before the Khmer Rouge, had a Chinese grandparent. During the reign of the Khmer Rouge, the Chinese population of Cambodia, too, suffered excessively, and many fled. Another wave of Cambodians of Chinese origin left the country after the Vietnamese military invasion in 1979, when relations between Vietnam and China were anything but good. In the middle of the 1990's ,the Chinese part of the Cambodian population was estimated at about 100,000, equalling slightly less than 1%. The number of remaining Chams is also around 100,000 (before Pol Pot's rule, there had been twice as many). The Chams had for several centuries settled in the territory north of Phnom Penh, but originally they were from the Danang area in presentday Vietnam. Until the 15th century, the kingdom of Champa, centered near presentday Danang, ruled the trade route between China and Southeast Asia. Subsequently, the Chams were pushed farther and farther to the South and West by the more numerous Vietnamese (Annamese). During the time of the decline of the realm of Angkor, they settled in the territory of presentday Cambodia.
In the 17th century, after the Khmer king Chan converted to Islam and invited Malay Muslims into Cambodia, most Cham embraced Islam. The influence of Malay Muslims can be recognized today in many Cham customs, including the way they dress.
Only small numbers of ethnic Thais and Laotians live in Cambodia today. Their settlement areas are restricted to the western Cambodian town of Battambang and the respective border areas. One reason for the low penetration of Cambodia from these two neighboring countries is the topography of the border regions with Thailand and Laos. While there are no natural boundaries between Cambodia and South Vietnam (the region is one geographic entity) the borders with Laos and Thailand clearly follow the mountain ranges.
The gross national product (GNP) per capita in Cambodia is $1,266 per year. This figure has been arrived at by a new system of measuring, used by international organizations like the World Bank. Using the old method, the (GNP) of a country was initially calculated in the national currency and the resulting figure converted into USA Dollars at exchange rates prevailing among banks. But who in the world wants Cambodian Riel? The new system of measuring works differently. Percapita (GNP) is not expressed in currency, but in buying potential.
This means: the accumulated percapita (GNP) in Cambodia equals a buying potential sufficient for a certain amount of rice, meat, washing powder, etc. The USA dollar figure expresses what the same basket of goods would cost in the USA, or in worldwide average.
While average percapita (GNP) in Cambodia is $1,266, it is $5,665 in Thailand; in Vietnam it is lower than in Cambodia, $ 1,263. In Afghanistan, it is even lower at $760, and in Myanmar it's a meagre $676 per year, barely more than half of the Cambodian figure. This does not necessarily mean that the average Cambodian is economically better off than the average Vietnamese. For in Cambodia, a substantial part of percapita (GNP) is still spent for war material. Today's Cambodians also start business at a lower level of percapita property, and furthermore, a substantial part of accumulated (GNP) is destroyed again and again by actions of war. The distribution of income may also be less equal in Cambodia, than in Vietnam. The fact is, the average Cambodian seems to be worse off than the average Vietnamese. A relevant point of reference here is that of the average life expectancy and medical provision rather than percapita (GNP.
Percapita (GNP), however, is a reference point for the natural resources of a country. Cambodia need not be a poor country, as shown by percapita (GNP) created under strenuous conditions. Cambodia owns large forests of the most precious woods and the most productive gem mines of the world (except diamonds). Much of the country is a fertile plain nurtured by one of the most powerful rivers of Asia, the Mekong. In fact, Cambodia could be a rich country. Its preconditions are several times better than those of Ethiopia, Turkey, Peru, Egypt, Afghanistan or Iraq. Though, in the absence of sufficient political stability, the economic growth potential cannot be realized. Therefore, percapita (GNP) in Cambodia, based on buying potential, amounts to only $1,266 per annum, while in Thailand it is $5,665, in the Philippines $2,440, and in China $2,413. In comparison: percapita (GNP), based on buying potential, is $20,165 in Germany, and $22,595 in the USA.
February 2004: A320-232 (542, S7-RGL), Orion (ORI) wet-leased.
December 2004: First Cambodia Airlines (FCC) provides scheduled passenger services linking Cambodia's capital, Phnom Penh to Singapore, Malaysia, and China.
(IATA) Code: F6. (ICAO) Code: FCC (Callsign - FIRST CAMBODIA).
Parent organization/shareholders: Hun Mana, Newskyland, & Suor Pheng.
International Scheduled Destinations: Guangzhou; Kuala Lumpur; Shanghai; & Singapore.
August 2005: First Cambodia (FCC) ceased operations.