Low-cost carrier Thai AirAsia, a subsidiary of Malaysia-based AirAsia, will launch a direct flight from Bangkok’s Don Mueang International Airport to Cambodia’s Sihanoukville in July.
The coastal town will become Thai AirAsia’s third destination in Cambodia after Siem Reap and Phnom Penh.
“The new route is expected to serve the millions of foreign travellers who use Thailand as a hub, while for Thai travellers, Sihanoukville offers an affordable beach and cultural getaway,” Thai AirAsia CEO Santisuk Klongchaiya was quoted as saying in the Bangkok Post on Monday.
Norinda Khek, communications and public relations director at Cambodia Airports, confirmed the new flight, and said it demonstrates the efficiency of Cambodia Airports’ route development strategy, which aims to attract airlines by providing them marketing support, among other services.
Taing Sochet Krisna, director of Preah Sihanouk province’s tourism department, said that the presence of one more airline in Sihanoukville International Airport will help increase the number of tourists to the province.
He said China tops the list of visitors to the province by nationality, followed by neighboring countries like Malaysia and Vietnam.
According to data from Cambodia Airports, last year air passenger traffic to the province increased by more than 92 percent, totalling 650,000 visitors.
According to Mr Norinda, Sihanoukville International Airport has five domestic airlines – Cambodia Angkor Air, Cambodia Airways, Lanmei Airlines, JC Cambodia Airlines, and Sky Angkor Airlines – and four international ones – AirAsia, Ruili Airlines, Sichuan Airlines, and Hainan Airlines.