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

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Angkor Beer, 30 Years of Prestige and Still Counting

    Let’s celebrate 30 years of prestige with Angkor Beer. In this 2022, Angkor Beer is 30 years old and has been staying with Cambodian hearts in all circumstances. Head of core beer portfolio, EmYuthousaid, “We have been with Cambodians for three decades now. We, ANGKOR Beer, pride

  • Sub-Decree approves $30M for mine clearance

    The Cambodian government established the ‘Mine-Free Cambodia 2025 Foundation’, and released an initial budget of $30 million. Based on the progress of the foundation in 2023, 2024 and 2025, more funds will be added from the national budget and other sources. In a sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen

  • Two senior GDP officials defect to CPP

    Two senior officials of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) have asked to join the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), after apparently failing to forge a political alliance in the run-up to the 2023 general election. Yang Saing Koma, chairman of the GDP board, and Lek Sothear,