Air China to start Phnom Penh flights from January

Chea Vannak / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Airplanes in the tarmac in Phnom Penh International Airport. KT/Chor Sokunthea

After a two-month delay, Air China is set to start direct flights between Beijing and Phnom Penh in January, airport officials said.

The Chinese national flag carrier will operate three flights between both cities every week, Cambodia Airports communications and public relations director Kek Norinda said.

“The company will start direct flight operation from Beijing to Cambodia earlier on January 7. I can confirm that,” Mr Norinda said. The number of flights every week may be increased based on demand, he added.

The State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) said Air China blamed “market reasons” for the decision to delay the start of the new route.

Air China announced plans for Beijing-Phnom Penh flights in August using Airbus A320 aircraft.

Despite a considerable number of airlines connecting Cambodia with various cities across China, there is no direct air link between both nations’ capitals yet.

Last year, Air China suspended its Beijing-Siem Reap route after it had been in operation for nearly a year, citing weak demand.

Over 1.2 million Chinese nationals visited the Kingdom in 2017, making China the number one source of tourists for Cambodia, according to the Ministry of Tourism.

On Tuesday, Cambodia Airports CEO Eric Delobel announced plans to establish new routes from the Kingdom to Australia, India, and Russia.

Currently, air travelers from Cambodia can access over 60 destinations in the Southeast Asian region and elsewhere including China, South Korea, and Japan, as well as links to air travel hubs Qatar and Dubai, Mr Delobel said.

Cambodia welcomed 5.6 million foreign tourists last year, an increase of 11.8 percent.

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