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Air routes connecting Cambodia with China in pipeline

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China Southern Airline landed at Phnom Penh International Airport on September 28, 2021. Heng Chivoan

Air routes connecting Cambodia with China in pipeline

The number of flights between Cambodia and China is expected to rise to six from four following a request submission by the State Secretariat for Civil Aviation (SSCA) to the Civil Aviation Administration of China in late June.

The request comes amid a rise in demand for flights between both nations after Cambodia officially reopened its borders in November last year.

Speaking to The Post on July 4, Sin Chansereyvutha, an undersecretary of state for SSCA, acknowledged the number of “Chinese tourists” moving in and out of Cambodia in recent months.

“This was the reason to add more flights from our current two from Cambodia to China and two from China to Cambodia per week,” he said. “I think they will approve soon, so there will be two flights from Cambodia and four flights from China.”

Currently, there are three airlines plying the route, and more airlines are expected to enter that space in the coming months as the Covid-19 situation improves, Chansereyvutha added.

Similarly, Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Cambodia chapter chairman Thourn Sinan anticipated more flights from China to Cambodia.

He said Chinese tourists play a significant role for the recovery of the tourism industry, which was hit hard by Covid-19 in the last two years.

“I agree we will see more flights from China because Chinese tourists account for almost 40 per cent of total global tourists,” he said.

Thourn recalled that the Chinese government restricted travel abroad due to the spread of coronavirus.

“So, if we have more flights from China, it means that their government is allowing her people to travel. We hope they will stay longer and spend more here,” he said.

According to Chansereyvutha, domestic flights fell 14 per cent to 198 flights in May 2022 from April 2022, but climbed 92 per cent from May 2021. The number of domestic air passengers went up 8,028, an increase of 17 per cent.

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