France’s ambassador to Cambodia, Jean-François Desmazières, has told Prime Minister Hun Sen that he supports an Air France plan to resume direct flights to the Kingdom.
This will end a 35-year hiatus on the connection.
The diplomat called on Cambodia to assist the carrier in providing the direct connections, according to Eang Sophallath, personal assistant to the Cambodian prime minister.
“Hun Sen highly encourages the airliner’s intention to invest,” he said.
Ho Vandy, president of the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents, said that direct flights would provide additional opportunities for French and European tourists to visit Cambodia.
Visitors from Europe presently arrive in the Kingdom after transiting through Vietnam, Thailand, or Malaysia, since there are no direct flights from the continent to Cambodia.
“We hope the planned direct flight would lure many tourists from France and Europe since it would reduce travel time and expense,” he said.
Air France previously conducted flights to Phnom Penh, according to the airline website, but they halted in 1975 after the Khmer Rouge came to power.
French Embassy spokesman Tung Soklim confirmed that the ambassador had met Prime Minister Hun Sen to discuss Air France, but could immediately confirm the details of the conversation.
Air France-KLM Group has teamed up with Europe’s biggest airlines to push for EU action to slow the encroachment of Emirates and other Gulf carriers, saying the region’s status as an air-travel hub was under threat.
“Europe is at the crossroads of international air travel,” Air France CEO Pierre-Henri Gourgeon said. ADDITIONAL REPORTING BLOOMBERG