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Launch of Beijing-Phnom Penh flight delayed

Chea Vannak / Khmer Times Share:
FILE PHOTO: An Air China Airbus A330-200 aircraft takes off from Zurich Airport January 9, 2018. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

Air China, the country’s national flag carrier, announced last week that the launch of a direct flight between Phnom Penh and Beijing will be delayed to early next year, after having previously scheduled it for November.

The airline cited “market reasons” for its decision to delay the route, according to officials at the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) of Cambodia.

“They told us they are not ready to operate the flight by November and said it will be delayed until early next year,” Sin Chansereyvutha, SSCA spokesman said.

Air China announced in August plans to have the maiden flight for its Beijing-Phnom Penh route in November.

At the time, the company said it will use Airbus A320 aircraft for the route, flying three times a week.

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

Last year, Air China suspended its Beijing-Siem Reap route, which had been in operation for nearly a year, saying that demand for the flight was weak.

Cambodia welcomed 5.6 million foreign tourists last year, an increase of 11.8 percent. That same year, China ranked number one in terms of tourists by nationality, with 1.2 million Chinese nationals visiting the Kingdom, according to the Cambodian Ministry of Tourism.

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