Thai AirAsia, a subsidiary of AirAsia Group, on Monday launched a flight connecting Bangkok’s Don Mueang International Airport with Sihanoukville, on the Cambodian coast.
Thai AirAsia uses a 180-seater Airbus A320 aircraft for the regular, weekly route, flying on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.
Bochra Hammou, general manager of Sihanoukville International Airport, said, “This flight will bring new international visitors to Sihanoukville as air travellers will have more travel options.
“It strengthens Sihanoukville and the Cambodian coast as tourism destinations,” she added.
Taing Sochet Krisna, director of the tourism department in Preah Sihanouk province, expected to see an increase in international travellers to the province in upcoming months.
“Being directly connected to Thailand, a very popular tourist destination, means we will get some of the travellers that visit that country. We are also likely to see an increase in investors,” Mr Krisna said.
During the first half of the year, Preah Sihanouk province received 1.3 million tourists, including both local and foreign visitors, according to Mr Krisna.
The government is planning to transform Sihanouk International Airport into the main airfield in the country. Cambodia Airports, the company that manages all international airports in the country, is now working to expand the runway and build a new terminal building in the airport.
The runway will be expanded from 2,500 to 3,300 metres, allowing the airport to handle long-haul aircraft, said Sin Chanserey Vutha, spokesman at the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation.
Mr Vutha said renovation work aims to prepare the airport for the Asean Summit, which the city will host in 2022.
Ms Hammou said the runway expansion will be completed by mid-2020.
According to Mr Krisna, there are 15 airlines operating at Sihanouk International Airport – 4 local airlines as well as airlines from China, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Thailand. The airport handles 34 per day.
Don Mueang International Airport (IATA: DMK, ICAO: VTBD) is one of two international airports serving Greater Bangkok, the other one being Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK). It is considered one of the world’s oldest international airports and Asia’s oldest operating airport.
The airport is a regional commuter flight and low-cost airline hub. In 2015, it became the world’s largest low-cost carrier airport.
WATCH: Sihanouk International Airport welcomes Thai Air Asia’s Maiden First Flight from Don Mueang International Airport, Bangkok. Thai AirAsia uses a 180-seater Airbus 320 aircraft for the regular-weekly flights operating on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. #SihanoukInternationalAirport #Cambodiaairports
Posted by Khmer Times on Monday, 1 July 2019