Vietnam Airlines is not merely fostering tourism growth between Cambodia and Vietnam but transforming two of its prosperous cities – Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi – as a major gateway for local travellers to tour around the globe.
With some 600,000 Cambodians visiting Vietnam annually using the airline, both for business and leisure, plus another close to a million Vietnamese visiting the Kingdom – bodes well for the carrier.
In addition, it connects the Indo-China capitals – Vientiane, Hanoi and Phnom Penh – moving frequent travellers from one city to another and beyond – thus positioning itself as a key player in the regional aviation sector.
“We are connecting the Indo-China capitals and offering long haul flights for travellers to fly to Europe or Asia. We are a full-service network airline and our philosophy is to make Vietnam a gateway to the world,” Ngo Tri Hung, general manager of Vietnam Airlines based in Phnom Penh, told The Post on Wednesday.
The four-star airline with a fleet of 84 aircraft, which has been servicing Cambodia for over 30 years, boast the latest models like Dreamliner 787 and Airbus 350, to become a top carrier in the Asia Pacific region.
Daily about six flights ply between Cambodia and Vietnam, mainly from Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, while during peak seasons about 10 flights are deployed per day.
“Cambodia is a tight market because there are other players as well, but we are positive in terms of revenue and passengers growth next year. This year we can easily reach both our targets,” said Hung.
Despite the lucrative numbers, Vietnam Airlines growth in Cambodia is rivalled by those travelling by road to neighbouring Ho Chi Minh, which only takes about six hours by bus. Daily about 20 buses ply between both the destinations.
“There is small growth every year but competition makes it hard as more airlines operate from Cambodia and more people travel by buses,” he added.
Currently, about 10 domestic carriers and over 20 international flights operate in Cambodia.
According to the Ministry of Tourism, about three million foreign visitors arrived in Cambodia in the first half of this year and of that nearly two million visitors arrived by air.
Bilateral trade between Vietnam and Cambodia is also on the rise and last year two-way trade volume stood at $3.8 billion, a 29.7 percent jump compared to 2016, reported Vietnam News, citing the country’s General Department of Customs.