Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Air arrivals soar higher

Air arrivals soar higher

Tourists walk out of Phnom Penh International Airport earlier this year.
Tourists walk out of Phnom Penh International Airport earlier this year. Heng Chivoan

Air arrivals soar higher

Air traffic for Cambodia’s three international airports increased by 23 percent in the first six months of the year, driven largely by growing Chinese tourism and the increased number of international flights to Sihanoukville’s airport, a spokesman for the company that operates the Kingdom’s three international airports said yesterday.

Khek Norinda, communications director of Cambodia Airports, said passenger arrivals at airports in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville surged during the first six months of the year, increasing by 23 percent compared to the same period in 2016. Total passenger arrivals reached 4.2 million during the first semester, he said.

Norinda said arrivals at Phnom Penh and Siem Reap airports during the first semester grew by 20.3 and 20.7 percent year-on-year, respectively. He attributed the strong growth to a marked increase in Chinese arrivals, as well as increased visits from other countries in the region.

“The number of passengers travelling from Asean countries is proof of the sustained growth in the airline industry,” he said.

People board a Bassaka Air flight traveling to Siem Reap from Phnom Penh International Airport last year.
People board a Bassaka Air flight traveling to Siem Reap from Phnom Penh International Airport last year. Scott Howes

Sihanoukville’s international airport saw the largest growth in the first semester of the year, with a 221 percent year-on-year increase in passenger arrivals, though starting from a low base.

The growth followed the addition of several new international connections to the coastal city in the previous months, and the destination has become increasingly popular with both domestic and Asean tourists, Norinda explained.

“The appetite for travel from the rising middle class in Asean will further fuel growth in the air transport industry,” he said. “Cambodia has key assets to capture that market, including diversified tourism sites, business opportunities and also an efficient airport system.”

Norinda added that air cargo traffic also witnessed robust growth, with a 34 percent year-on-year increase during the first six months of 2017. He attributed the growth to the country’s positive economic environment and the increased numbers of cargo carriers operating out of Phnom Penh’s international airport.

Figures from the Ministry of Tourism show a total of 2.3 million foreign tourists visited Cambodia during the first five months of the year. Some 1.4 million, or about 61 percent, of arrivals were by air.

MOST VIEWED

  • Ethnic group ‘disappointed’ to be denied French visas to attend court

    Eleven people at the centre of a case involving seven indigenous Bunong villages in Mondulkiri province pursuing legal action in France have expressed disappointment after the French embassy in Phnom Penh denied their visa applications to attend court. A press release said the 11 included a

  • Cambodia nabs 12th place in best retirement destinations

    Cambodia is an expatriate hotspot for those dreaming of living a more luxurious lifestyle at an affordable cost, according to International Living’s Annual Global Retirement Index 2019. For the fourth year in a row, Cambodia took the top spot in the Cost of Living category.

  • EU starts EBA withdrawal

    The EU on Monday announced that it has begun the 18-month process of withdrawing the Kingdom’s access to its preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement over “a deterioration of democracy [and] respect for human rights”. However, the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia (GMAC) said

  • PM: War result of foreign meddling

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Sunday that Cambodia’s recent history of conflict was caused by foreign interference. “The wars that happened were caused by provocation, incitement, support, smearing and interference from foreign powers, and the group of ignorant people who pushed Cambodia to