Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodia’s aviation sector rapidly growing: report

Cambodia’s aviation sector rapidly growing: report

Cambodia’s aviation sector rapidly growing: report

Capitalising on booming travel from Vietnam and China, the domestic aviation sector has enjoyed 18 per cent passenger growth for the second year running, according to a new report, which describes Cambodia as having one of the fastest-growing markets in Southeast Asia.

The report, by the Australia-based Centre for Aviation, says that Cambodia’s three commercial airports in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville received 5.1 million arrivals in 2013, up from 4.3 million in 2012.

Capacity at Cambodia’s two main airports is being pushed to the limit as passenger traffic at Siem Reap International more than doubled since 2009 to 2.7 million in 2013, while Phnom Penh International received 2.4 million arrivals in 2013, up from 2.1 million in 2012.

The growth of the industry will be met with ongoing safety, airport development and training this year, Moeung Sathya, director of planning and policy at the State Secretariat for Civil Aviation, said yesterday.

“We have entered a project with a Japanese firm to improve our Air Traffic Management system, the Siem Reap and Phnom Penh airports are undergoing massive development to cater for double the passenger capacity by 2015, and we are working continuously with the International Civil Aviation Organization on our international safety standards,” he said.

The report attributes much of the growth to increases from Chinese and Vietnamese visitors. According to the figures, which use Ministry of Tourism data, Chinese visitors to Cambodia rose 40 per cent from 2012 totals to 417,000 in 2013. The centre said visitors from China have quadrupled since 2009, and they now account for 11 per cent of total arrivals.

Vietnamese arrivals, however, remained at the top of the list, with more than 781,000 people (23 per cent of the whole) visiting Cambodia either by plane or overland.

Chief analyst and chief representative at the Centre for Aviation, Brendan Sobie, cautioned that despite the strong growth, the country needs to be wary of how political issues are perceived and interpreted by tourists abroad.

“Political stability is a key as tourism accounts for an overwhelming amount of the passengers in Cambodia,” he said, referring to the still-contested July election and unrest in the garment sector. He added that the tourism sector and the airport company need to be proactive at attracting more carriers.

MOST VIEWED

  • Body of woman killed in Bangkok returns

    The Cambodian embassy in Thailand is working to repatriate the body of a casino dealer who was shot dead in Bangkok on Monday night. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesman Kuy Kuong told The Post on Wednesday that officials are preparing paperwork to

  • Chikungunya hits 15 provinces, says gov’t

    Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said on Thursday that the chikungunya outbreak in the Kingdom has spread to 15 provinces. Some 1,700 people are now suspected to have the disease. Vandine urged people to prevent its further spread by eliminating shelters for the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes

  • Gov’t exempts visa A and B holders from Covid fees

    Airline passengers who are diplomats and officials of international organisations holding Type A and B visas for travel to Cambodia are exempted from paying Covid-19 testing fees, said the Ministry of Health in its latest adjustment of rules on Wednesday. Health Minister Mam Bun Heng

  • Bill covering dress code draws ire

    Ministry of Interior secretary of state Ouk Kim Lek responded on Tuesday to criticism concerning a draft law that would ban women from wearing overly revealing clothing, saying that input from all parties will be considered as the law moves through the promulgation process. Several

  • What’s the deal with Cambodia and China’s FTA?

    Cambodia’s Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China kicks off a series of FTAs in future but for now, critics wonder what else the parties could bring to the table apart from what it already has to date By the end of this year, Cambodia

  • Cambodia, Vietnam exchange border maps amid criticism

    Cambodia and Vietnam formally exchanged border maps on Monday despite criticism from former members of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) that the Kingdom is losing land in the deal. The two countries said agreement on the border is 84 per cent complete, leaving