Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Kingdom wants direct flights to US

Kingdom wants direct flights to US

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
US Ambassador to Cambodia W Patrick Murphy proposed allowing US-produced Boeing Co aircraft to operate in Cambodian airspace. AFP

Kingdom wants direct flights to US

Cambodia welcomes any US airline that wishes to operate direct flights to the Kingdom and promote trade, tourism and investment with the world’s largest economy, said Minister in charge of the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) Mao Havanall.

Havannall was speaking at a meeting with US Ambassador to Cambodia W Patrick Murphy at the SSCA office on Monday.

SSCA spokesman Sin Chansereyvutha told The Post on Tuesday that Murphy had proposed allowing US-produced Boeing Co aircraft to operate in Cambodian airspace and expediting work on an air service agreement between the two countries – under discussion since 2014.

“In regard to a Cambodia-US air service agreement, only two issues remain – first is technical terminology, which we may interpret differently but we can still open up to negotiation.

“Secondly, US companies want to conduct aircraft ground handling procedures themselves – this poses a bit of a challenge,” said Chansereyvutha, adding that the government has authorised private companies to do so.

He said US airlines want US companies to service their aircrafts while on the ground, due to security concerns.

“We suggested the ambassador to inform any US airline that wants to operate in Cambodia to schedule a meeting face-to-face with the SSCA, and we will pave the way for them to set up their ground handling services.”

“Direct flights between the US and Cambodia – in either passenger or cargo configuration – would be a boon.

“Our neighbouring countries with direct flights to the US have enjoyed a notable rise in bilateral tourism, investment and trade,” said Chansereyvutha.

US embassy in Phnom Penh spokeswoman Emily Zeeberg said the US and Cambodia regularly discuss commercial opportunities in different sectors, including exporting aviation technologies and services to the Kingdom.

“The continued growth of Cambodia’s aviation sector provides opportunities for local and regional airlines to lease or purchase Boeing aircraft – and other US aviation technologies and services – to meet rising demand. Currently there are no Boeing aircraft based in Cambodia,” she said.

She added that the embassy regularly discusses aviation-focused initiatives with the government, including the multilateral Cape Town Convention and a bilateral open skies agreement.

“The Cape Town Convention is an international treaty that, if Cambodia were to sign, would allow domestic airlines to purchase and lease aircraft more cheaply,” said Zeeberg.

Some 77 states as well as the EU have signed on to the convention, she said, including five ASEAN countries – Vietnam, Myanmar, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.

She said open skies agreements are bilateral air service agreements that help promote international travel between the US and its partner countries.

“An open skies agreement could allow US airlines to fly directly into Cambodia’s airports and help increase US tourism to Cambodia. The United States has open skies agreements with over 100 countries,” she said.

In February last year, in collaboration with Boeing, General Electric Co, and the American Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia, the US Embassy hosted a successful aviation workshop that linked US companies to Cambodian government and private sector leaders in the tourism and aviation sectors, she said.

Chansereyvutha said Boeing aircraft operated in the Kingdom between 1990 and 2000 until many airlines opted instead to use the EU-made Airbus planes.

Cambodia exported more than $1.083 billion worth of goods to the US in the first two months of this year, a sharp 46.96 per cent year-on-year increase from $737.1 million, said a US Census Bureau report.

Bilateral trade between the two countries totalled $1.136 billion during the period, up 39.96 per cent from 2019’s $812 million, the data showed. The Kingdom’s imports amounted to $53.2 million, down 28.97 per cent from 2019’s $74.9 million.

MOST VIEWED

  • Locations shut, dozens more Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health has closed 23 locations in connection with the February 20 community transmission of Covid-19 and summoned for testing anyone who had direct contact with affected people and places. The number of discovered related infections has risen to 76, including 39 women. In a press release,

  • Kingdom's Covid cluster cases jump to 194

    The Ministry of Health on February 25 confirmed 65 new cases of Covid-19, with 58 linked to the February 20 community transmission. The latest cluster cases include nine Vietnamese nationals, five Cambodians, one each from Korea, Singapore and Japan, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total number

  • Cambodia's Covid cluster cases rise to 137

    The Ministry of Health on February 24 recorded 40 more cases of Covid-19, with 38 linked to the February 20 community transmission. Of the 40, two are imported cases involving Chinese passengers. The 38 include two Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total cases

  • Covid cluster raises alarm, health bodies urge vigilance

    The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia have expressed great concern over the February 20 cluster transmission of Covid-19 in the community. Both entities appealed for vigilance and cooperation in curbing further spread of the virus. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said

  • PM confirms third Covid-19 community transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on February 20 announced the Kingdom's third outbreak of Covid-19 community transmission after 32 people tested positive in just over 10 hours. Addressing the public from his residence after an emergency meeting, Hun Sen said: "I dub it February 20 Community Event, in which 32 cases

  • Cambodia to make auto-rickshaws

    Locally-assembled electric auto-rickshaws could hit the Cambodian market as soon as early in May after the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) gave the greenlight to an investment project at the weekend. According to a CDC press release, it will issue a final registration