Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and China are conducting a joint study on improving air connectivity in the region and developing new air links between them.
The study, started as part of the Mekong-Lancang cooperation framework, started in April and is scheduled to be ready by September next year.
In a workshop in Phnom Penh yesterday, Cambodian senior officials said the study is key for the flourishing air transport industry in the region.
The study will help officials in the concerned countries understand the issues that need to be addressed to allow the industry’s expansion, said Mao Havanall, Secretary of State of Cambodia’s State Secretariat of Civil Aviation.
“It will provide important knowledge in reforming the air transport industries in Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar and strengthening the quality of other sectors, including tourism and air freight,” he said.
“This two-day workshop will benefit all four countries involved, helping them to keep attracting tourists and to expand the air transport industry.”
Mr Havanall said that expanding air connectivity is key to attract investment and grow the national economy. “Increasing our connectivity by air has allowed millions of people from all over the world to visit our country,” he said.
China continues to top the list of visitors to the Kingdom by nationality. Figures from the Ministry of Tourism showed that more than 900,000 Chinese tourists visited Cambodia in the first six months of 2018, an increase of 75 percent compared to the same period last year.
Chinese tourists are flocking to Cambodia due to the rising number of flight connections between Cambodia and China, Eric Delobel, CEO of Cambodia Airports, said recently.
“With new routes and new airlines joining the market every year, the number of Chinese tourists will keep on growing,” Mr Delobel said.
Cambodia’s three international airports handled 5.2 million passengers during the first six months of this year, a jump of 23.7 percent compared to the same period last year, according to Vinci Group, the company that manages the Kingdom’s international airports.
There were 51,634 flights during that period, an increase of 21.5 percent, Vinci Group said.