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Maiden landing at beachside airport

Sihanouk Ville International Airport received its first international flight this week, a landing the industry hopes will open up the coastal resort destination to more foreign tourists.

A flight by South Korea-based Skywings Asia Airlines, an international charter carrier, arrived from Seoul on Tuesday. One hundred and forty-two passengers were aboard the 180-seat Airbus 320, according to a statement from Cambodia Airports released yesterday.

“The first flights during this summer season are a way for us to test the market,” Mak Rady, CEO of Skywings Asia Airlines, says in the statement. “We are considering having daily flights in the coming winter season 2014-2015.”

The aviation experiment will run until the end of August and will be packaged with flights to Siem Reap.

“The launch of Skywings Asia Airlines’ international charters from Seoul to Sihanoukville is a move in the right direction towards developing the Cambodian coastal city into a destination in its own right,” Patrine Tay, marketing and sales director of Cambodia Airports says in the statement.

More than 435,000 South Koreans visited Cambodia last year.

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