Airline operators from Malaysia and Korea have expressed interest in flying direct routes to Sihanoukville, a spokesman for the operator of the newly refurbished Sihanouk International Airport (SIA) said this week.
“As we know, the aviation industry is facing a crisis,” Societe Concessionnaire des Aeroports (SCA) Marketing Manager Khek Norida said. “However, we are in talks with a Malaysian and a Korean airline to use the airport, and we think the Korean airline will be the first to sign up.”
He declined to name the airlines involved.
SCA recently completed a $30 million upgrade of the 118-hectare airport that began in 2006. The upgrade included improvements to a 2,500-metre runway that can now accommodate aircraft as large as Airbus 320s, Khek Norida said. The airport will be able to handle 700,000 passengers a year, equivalent to the annual capacity at Siem Reap International Airport, he added.
The opening of the sole airport in the coastal resort town was set for this month but was pushed back to next year at the French embassy’s request to allow top French officials to attend the opening.
SCA has a concession to operate the Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and Sihanouk International Airports until 2040.