Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Thailand low-cost airlines relaunch, open brand-new links to Cambodia

Thailand low-cost airlines relaunch, open brand-new links to Cambodia

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Home to the world famous Angkor Wat, Siem Reap province is one of Cambodia’s most important cultural and historical destinations. Yousos Apdoulrashim

Thailand low-cost airlines relaunch, open brand-new links to Cambodia

Two Thai budget airlines have announced flights to Cambodia in a bid to spur bilateral tourism after the Covid-19 crisis, with one of them newly launching air links with the country, according to tourism ministry officials and representatives from the Kingdom’s main travel agent association.

The Ministry of Tourism on February 27 announced that Thai Smile Airlines will resume twice-weekly flights between Bangkok and Siem Reap from March 3. And Thai VietJet Air is working with Phaya Thai Hospital in Bangkok to serve health tourists from Cambodia, in a move announced by Cambodia Association of Travel Agents (CATA).

The ministry called on tour operators and Cambodian residents to continue promoting tourism to Siem Reap through any means available to them. Home to the world famous Angkor Wat, the province and its namesake town is one of Cambodia’s most important cultural and historical destinations.

CATA president Chhay Sivlin said that compared to more standard carriers, the two budget airlines’ cheaper fares and more varied destinations within Cambodia will provide more diversified options for tourists who wish to visit elsewhere in the country apart from the capital Phnom Penh.

“We want to have as many flights as possible because there are so many types of guests, and sometimes they want to fly to Siem Reap [directly] to avoid spending a lot of time travelling there by other means, for example from Phnom Penh. We hope these two flights will allow a wide range of guests to visit Cambodia, both for business and for tourism,” she told The Post.

In the second meeting of the Executive Working Group for the Assessment and Management of Safe Tourism Destinations in Siem Reap Province on February 24, Minister of Tourism and chairman of the government working group Thong Khon spoke with private sector representatives about ways to restore and prop up the Cambodian tourism sector during and after the Covid-19 crisis.

Chief amongst the topics discussed was the inter-ministerial assessment and recognition of Siem Reap as a safe tourism destination, in which the provincial administration was lauded for its effective implementation of the government’s measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in the lead-up to the destination’s reopening to tourism and resumption of international flights.

Chhun Makara, director of the ministry’s Travel Agency, Transport and Tourism Guide Department, told The Post that it was necessary to appoint an executive working group to manage the safety of the province and instil confidence in tourists, given that Siem Reap is a major tourist destination in Cambodia.

He said that in addition to Siem Reap, the tourism ministry has also set up a similar executive working group in Preah Sihanouk province – another location which has notable international flight connections.

“For Preah Sihanouk, we are organising a series of meetings to discuss challenges that we might need to address. Now that the province has improved its vaccination rates and health measures are implemented more effectively, we can focus on other [tourism-related] issues in these meetings,” Makara said.

Since the government announced the reopening of the country in mid-November, there have been 326 international flights to Cambodia in the period up to January 31 – up nearly 20 per cent from the same time a year before, according to the ministry. However, it noted that the number of tourists visiting Cambodia has still been less than it had hoped for.

MOST VIEWED

  • First Cambodian woman graduates from Japan’s NDA military academy

    A few years ago, Meach Sithyka Jessica became the first-ever Cambodian woman to graduate from the US Military Academy at West Point, and since then her courage and determination has served as an inspiration for other Cambodian women. Similarly, Ly Chansocheata became the first Cambodian

  • Construction begins on $1.5B Kampot seaport

    The International Multi-Purpose Logistics and Port Centre, principally invested by Kampot Logistics and Port Co Ltd and projected to cost $1.5 billion, has officially broken ground in Bokor town, Kampot province. The multi-purpose logistics and port centre, located in Prek Tnaot commune, will be built on

  • Cambodia eyes key role in electronics, auto hubs in SEA

    Two roadmaps, part of the LDC’s economic diversification plan, were designed to see it through its migration process, but experts say the journey might be arduous, particularly in the presence of two established hubs in the region By 2028, Cambodia hopes to have exited the

  • Hun Neng, lawmaker and PM’s brother, passes away aged 72

    Hun Neng, chairman of the 4th Commission of the National Assembly, has passed away from heart disease at the age of 72 on the afternoon of May 5, according to the Ministry of Information. Hun Neng is the older brother of Prime Minister Hun Sen, and was

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with

  • PM meets with US business giants

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has met with a number of major US companies who have expressed interest in investing in Cambodia, in a meeting convened by the US-ASEAN Business Council (US-ABC). A delegation of companies – including Amazon, Meta, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Ford, Visa and Pernod