Cambodian officials and Japanese airline All Nippon Airways discussed on Friday the possibility of starting a direct flight between the Kingdom and Japan next year, in a bid to facilitate the increase in bilateral business and investment transactions, according to a State Secretariat of Civil Aviation official.
Sinn Chanserey Vutha, a spokesman for the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA), said that while no specific details were hammered out on the proposed flight, All Nippon Airways (ANA) was expected to make an announcement in January.
“They only discussed the possibility of having a direct flight next year,” Vutha said. “They committed to this flight before but it didn’t happen because of lack of market maturity.”
Vutha said attendees, including Japanese Ambassador to Cambodia Yuji Kumamaru, also discussed continuing technical assistance to ANA in the case of emergency landings, given that the airline uses flight paths passing over the Kingdom.
He added that Phnom Penh and Siem Reap would be obvious choices for the proposed flight, and will look to capitalise on the growing business relationship between the two countries.
“First will be investment as Cambodia is promoting a lot of investment from Japan,” Vutha said. “So, we will look to bring investors in and tourism will be second [priority].”
Earlier in the year, the two governments signed an agreement that would pave the way for Japanese airlines to access destinations in all 10 ASEAN nations. At the time, Japan had already signed agreements with eight other member states.