Cambodia will use a new air route for flights to Laos, Thailand and Vietnam that will reduce fuel costs and provide a more direct route to these countries reducing air time for these flights, according to the State Secretariat for Civil Aviation.
The agreement was signed in Siem Reap last week after multilateral meetings between the involved countries, said Sin Chansereyvutha, spokesperson of State Secretariat for Civil Aviation (SSCA).
“The new route allows airlines to fly at an altitude of 11 kilometres with two lanes for airlines to fly back and forth at the same time. The new route will also make flight distances closer, cutting down fuel cost, saving time compared to the old route,” he said.
Chansereyvutha said the old route was only one way and needed airlines to wait to take off or land. He added that the agreement involved two provinces in China as well and would be expanded to other ASEAN members, thereby increasing connectivity to European destinations.
“It benefits the aviation industry in each country. It is also a requirement of the International Civil Aviation Organization – for members to make use of technology available to reduce cost and save the environment,” he added.
Ang Kim Eang, president of the Cambodian Association of Travel Agents, said the agreement will encourage more tourists to travel to and from these countries.
“When cost is cut down, airlines will reduce fees and travel agencies will do more to promote tour packages. Tourists will come to Cambodia because airfare will be cheaper and travel times will be reduced,” he said.
Cambodia saw 1.3 million tourists from Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand in 2014 – a 10 per cent drop from a year earlier – according to data from the Ministry of Tourism.