Asia Atlantic Airlines (AAA) made its first flight from Japan’s Narita International Airport to Siem Reap on May 3 with more than 260 tourists on board – and there are more to come.
AAA ran the test flight last week before committing to two flights per week starting in July, and daily connections could commence later this year, according to the Minister of Tourism Thong Khon.
“The number of Japanese visitors to Cambodia will increase strongly in the future after we link a direct flight service,” he said.
Khon said Japan Airlines ran flights to and from Cambodia until 2008, but suspended them in early 2009 due to lagging passenger numbers brought on by the global financial crisis.
“We have waited for this service for long time. It will help our business become busier,” Ang Kim Eang, president of Cambodia Association of Travel Agents said yesterday.
The AAA flight comes after Prime Minister Hun Sen in February announced a plan to restart direct flights between the two countries to boost investment and tourism.
Japanese tourists visiting Cambodia during the first quarter of 2014 reached 66,900, the Kingdom’s fifth-largest source of foriegn arrivals.