The Kingdom’s three international airports experienced solid growth in passenger traffic in the first half of this year, thanks to a strong influx from countries in Asia, especially China, Cambodia Airports said recently.
According to figures seen by The Post on Monday, the combined passenger traffic amounted to 5.2 million from January to June this year – a 24 percent increase over the same period last year.
Khek Norinda, the communications director for Cambodia Airports, which operates airports in Siem Reap, Sihanoukville and Phnom Penh, said it is confident that the current stable economic environment has boosted air traffic.
He added that the trend should remain in the second half of the year, which would put the total at around 10 million passengers for 2018.
“We are reasonably optimistic and we may hit, for the first time, the 10 million passengers mark at the three airports combined,” he said, adding that the July 29 national elections have no impact on the sector.
“We can expect to see the traffic level increase by 20.6 percent for second quarter [March to June] which is usually the low season.”
During the first half of this year, Phnom Penh International Airport received 2.6 million passengers, an increase of 32 percent compared to the same period last year.
At Siem Reap International Airport, passenger traffic grew 12 percent, hitting 2.3 million passengers in the first half of the year, while Sihanouk International Airport saw 240,000, a growth of 70 percent from last year.
The company did not break down passengers by country, but it highlighted that the growth was fuelled by a strong influx of from countries in Asia, especially China, followed by Vietnam, South Korea and Thailand.
It said Sihanoukville, the Kingdom’s coastal beach destination is becoming increasingly popular for domestic and Asian tourists.
Cambodia Airports this month welcomed the country’s newest carrier, Cambodia Airways, as it began domestic flight routes on July 10 and has its first international flight scheduled for later this month.
Cambodia Airways marketing and branding manager Sok Ravy said there is plenty of room to grow the airline business in the Kingdom as the tourism industry is booming.
“We believe the tourism industry will keep steady growth, which will drive demand for good quality airline services,” she said.
According to figures from Cambodia Airports, more than 45 airlines operate out of its three airports, nine of which are domestic companies.
In the first six months of the year, the capital’s airport was the busiest, hosting an average of 135 flights per day. Siem Reap’s airport averaged 100 flights per day over the same period while Sihanoukville’s airport averaged 15 flights.