The widely anticipated resumption of flights between Tokyo, Japan and Phnom Penh, Cambodia, this month and which was given a boost when the Japanese foreign minister had called on the Cambodian premier late august, has been dashed.
The flights which were expected to be resumed this month by Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) has now been delayed to at least until end October.
In stating this, Maeda Ryuhei, ANA’s Senior Adviser on International Affairs, confirmed that at present, ANA is not able to resume normal flights, but may have special charter flights at the request of ANA Group passengers.
Mr Ryuhei said this during a meeting with the Cambodian Ambassador to Japan, Ung Rachana and Takahashi Fumiaki, President of the Japan-Cambodia Association on Monday, September 7 about the possibility of ANA Narita-Phnom Penh and Phnom Penh – Narita flight will be back in the future.
During a late August meeting with visiting Japanese Foreign Minister, Mote Gito Simitsu, Prime Minister Hun Sen had requested the Japanese side to facilitate the opening of the airline and Re-flight process to increase trade volume.
Although COVID-19 pandemic, which has thus far claimed more than 2 million lives and infected more than 28 million people in up to 213 countries was stated as the reason for the delayed resumption of the popular route, it nevertheless comes as a surprise as Cambodia, as of this morning had zero active cases or the deadly virus and zero deaths.
It had also done exemplarily well in containing the spread of the virus and its spread.
International passengers or Cambodian stranded abroad have limited choices in getting to Cambodia either to be reunited with their families or for business. Among the flight routes still open are Singapore, Korea, Taipei and China and that too with strict conditions and restrictions.