Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Direct flights to Indonesia to start

Direct flights to Indonesia to start

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
An airplane landing at Phnom Penh International Airport in 2016. Pha Lina

Direct flights to Indonesia to start

Industry insiders believe direct flights could commence between Cambodia and Indonesia this year, as long running suggestions that the countries will boost their air connections look set to finally come to fruition.

The pledge was made as Ministry of Tourism figures showed that last year Cambodia received more than 6.2 million visitors, of which 55,753 were from Indonesia – up 11.8 per cent on 2017.

At the 2019 Asean Tourism Forum hosted in Vietnam’s Ha Long City, Cambodian Minister of Tourism Thong Khon held bilateral talks with his Indonesian counterpart Arief Yahya, marking the 60th anniversary of Cambodian-Indonesian diplomatic ties.

The pair discussed ways to boost the number of tourists travelling between the countries, agreeing on the establishment of a working team for bilateral cooperation in the tourism sector, capacity building for Cambodian officials’ use of mobile positioning data and mutual support on staging cultural events aimed at enhancing tourism.

Cambodia Association of Travel Agents president Chhay Sivlin said Indonesia is a highly populous nation whose citizens regularly travel to neighbouring countries, but the lack of direct flights to Cambodia means Indonesian tourists to the Kingdom have been limited.

However, Sivlin said direct flights may start this year, with Cambodia set “to enjoy a lot of benefits, especially in the hotel and hospitality sectors”.

Sivlin said Cambodia also needs to make efforts to improve its ability to welcome guests, especially by providing Halal food to Indonesia’s Muslim majority population, which is currently difficult to find in the country.

“I would like to remind Cambodian businesses to make more effort to be ready to receive tourists – whose numbers are increasing every year – in terms of foreign languages, professional ethics, suitable residences and diverse types of food,” she said.

Chairman of the Cambodian chapter of the Pacific Asia Travel Association Thourn Sinan said direct flights between the two countries will bring benefits to Cambodia beyond tourism in both investment and trade.

“Indonesia is progressing in all sectors, especially in the industrial and agricultural sectors, so if we have direct flights it will not only help Cambodia increase the number of visitors, but it will help bring in more direct investment,” he said.

Cambodia and Indonesia have been planning direct flights for some time, and Sinan hopes that it will finally happen in this year.

“The governments of both countries will push for the first direct connections to be established in 2019 but obviously I do not yet know for sure if it will happen,” he said.

Some 80 Cambodian and Indonesian business people gathered at a trade fair in Phnom Penh in September last year to forge partnerships and explore ways to boost bilateral trade.

An Indonesian embassy report said trade between the two countries reached more than $318 million between January and September last year – an increase of 8.3 per cent compared with the same period in 2017.

The report also said Cambodian exports to Indonesia grew to more than $17 million in 2017, an increase of more than 12 per cent from 2016. Imports from Indonesia also reached more than $301 million, an increase of roughly eight per cent.

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration

  • More Cambodians studying in US

    The number of Cambodian students studying at US colleges and universities in 2020-21 increased by 14.3 per cent over the previous year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recent US government report. The 2021 Open Doors report on International Educational Exchange showed that 848 Cambodian students studied

  • Rise in planned flights lifts travel hopes

    Six airlines have applied to resume flights in December, while two others have put in for additional flights and routes, according to State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) head Mao Havannall on November 29. These account for 43 new weekly domestic and international flights in December, up 16

  • PM: Do not defile Tonle Sap swamp forest or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered police to arrest anyone – including government officials – involved with the deforestation of the flooded forests surrounding the Tonle Sap Lake because it is an area important to the spawning of many species of fish, among other reasons. Speaking in a