Minister of Tourism Sok Soken proclaimed that the new Siem Reap Angkor International Airport (SAI) signifies an important milestone in Cambodia’s dedication to delivering high-quality services to both domestic and international travellers.

He made these comments on September 7 while leading a delegation from the ministry, alongside relevant units and representatives from the private sector, during an inspection of the new airport, slated for inauguration later this year. During the visit, he commended Angkor International Airport Investment (Cambodia) for developing and building this state-of-the-art facility.

“This airport represents a vital aspect of our commitment to offering high-quality experiences to both domestic and international travellers, while also facilitating increased international visitation,” he added.

“In this sense, the Kingdom’s hospitality and tourism sector must prioritise the enhancement of services to meet international standards. This entails the need for synchronised development of both physical and non-physical infrastructure,” he continued.

Sinn Chanserey Vutha, spokesperson for the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation, conducted an airport trial on October 5, overseen by Mao Havannall, the minister in charge of the secretariat.

On October 8, Chanserey Vutha reported that this trial aimed to handle two domestic flights: Sky Angkor Airlines from Phnom Penh and Cambodia Airways from Phnom Penh to Preah Sihanouk and Siem Reap provinces. An international flight, operated by China Eastern, arrived from China’s Kunming to Siem Reap.

He said SAI achieved a 100 per cent success rate, noting that Sky Angkor departed from Phnom Penh at 9am and safely landed at 9:55am. China Eastern departed Kunming Airport at 8:15am local time, arriving safely at 9:40am.

The Cambodia Airways flight departed from Preah Sihanouk at 9:30am and landed safely at the new airport one hour later.

“The minister responsible for the civil aviation secretariat conducted technical inspections of the control tower during landings from Phnom Penh and Kunming,” Chanserey Vutha explained.

He added that Havannall also inspected the passenger terminal, including the check-in, immigration and security counters. Experienced airport staff utilised new tools at the facility and received extensive training in accordance with international standards.

Chhay Sivlin, president of the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents (CATA) who also visited the new airport, expressed delight and pride on behalf of CATA, tour operators, hotels and tour guides.

She further noted the positive aspect of the province receiving significant investment in an airport with the capacity to accommodate large aircraft, and that the airport is well-prepared to host direct flights in the very near future.

“This is a significant factor for us to promote Cambodia as a standalone destination. This new airport will be a vital asset for the future of tourism in the Kingdom,” she underscored.