Full Open-Skies from Now on Between Cambodia and Thailand

The Phnom Penh Post reported that Thailand finally has dropped its seat quota on commercial flights to Cambodia after its government approved the removal of air restrictions. This follows an aviation agreement between the two countries that was signed back in May. The approval comes months after Cambodia already decided to drop any kind of restrictions for Thai airlines flying into the Kingdom, fully liberalising air travel between the two countries.

“We’ve both agreed to remove the quotas on flights and our airlines can fly without limits,” said Vann Chanty, director of Air Transport at the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA).

Previously, the two countries experienced limited growth in air traffic and tourism by imposing quotas on both the total number of flights and seats on commercial passenger flights between the two countries. Chanty said Cambodia scrapped its quota of 5,300 seats per week at the start of the year, but had to wait for Thailand to reciprocate. Thai aviation officials agreed in principle during a meeting with their Cambodian counterparts on May 18. The Thai Cabinet signed off on the decision on Tuesday, according to the Bangkok Post.“The announcement by the Thai side might just be an official one aimed at informing its air carriers in order to promote more flights to Cambodia,” Chanty went on to say.

The lifting of restrictions for the total number of flights and seats will help at promoting tourism and investment, and ensuring fair competition in the market, he added. During the May meeting, the two countries also agreed to permit airlines from each side to use six and seventh freedom traffic rights to include their airports for a stopover before flying to a third-tier destination. Two countries are now part of the agreement including South Korea.

“We’ve chosen South Korea as one of our two destinations, but we haven’t decided which airline [will fly the route], or the other destination,” Chanty added. Thailand has yet to announce its choice of destinations.

(Source: Phnom Penh Post)