XiamenAir – formerly known as Xiamen Airlines – started this week a direct flight connecting Phnom Penh and Xiamen city, in China’s southeastern Fujian province.
The new service was officially launched on January 28, with four weekly flights using Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
Since 2014, XiamenAir operates a flight linking Xiamen and Siem Reap.
The decision to create the new route reflects the rising number of businesspeople and tourists travelling between China and Cambodia, said Zheng Congming, the airline’s general manager for sales and marketing.
“It also allows Cambodian passengers to use Xiamen to transit to other destinations in China and even Europe,” he said.
Mao Havannall, Secretary of State at the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation, said the launching of the new route will promote cordial relations between Cambodia and China.
“It will lay a solid foundation for the tourism industry in Cambodia to help achieve the goal of attracting two million Chinese tourists by 2020.
“It will promote friendly exchanges and enhance trade.”
With 155 flights per week, there are currently 12 airlines in Cambodia flying to China.
In 2017, the number of passengers in Cambodian airports reached 8.2 million, a 24 percent increase compared to 2016.
Last year, Chinese accounted for 20 percent of passengers in Phnom Penh International Airport. In Siem Reap’s airport they were 25 percent of all passengers, while in Sihanoukville they accounted for 75 percent.
1 million Chinese tourists visited Cambodia in 2017.