Taiwan-Cambodia flight delay affects hundreds


TAIPEI–Cambodia’s Tonlesap Airlines said Saturday that one of its scheduled flights from Taiwan to the Cambodian city of Siem Reap that day would be further delayed due to an engine failure, further enraging 167 already angry passengers who had been waiting for hours for their flight.

The Cambodian carrier told disgruntled passengers at the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport that their 7 a.m. flight was still grounded in Angkor Wat for repair and that the flight would likely be rescheduled to 11 p.m.

Prior to the Lunar New Year holiday, people with reservations had already been irritated when the airline informed them that the flight was likely to be rescheduled to around 10 a.m.

Tonlesap Airlines told the passengers it would dispatch another plane to transport them later in the day and they were then taken to hotels near the airport.

The airline’s spotty track record saw it make a last-minute cancellation of a Kaohsiung-Siem Reap flight Jan. 16 after rescheduling several times that day alone.

The airline originally cooperated with the Taipei-based Far Eastern Air Transport (FAT) on the Taiwan-Siem Reap flight, in which FAT leased aircraft to the Cambodian airline.

But FAT ceased its cooperation agreement last February when Tonlesap failed to meet a deadline to repay more than NT$3 million (US$101,500) owed to FAT in fuel fees.