Malaysia low cost carrier AirAsia will open its third destination in Cambodia. Starting August 9, the airline will offer four flights week linking in just two hours Kuala Lumpur to Sihanoukville, Cambodia largest seaside resort destination along the Gulf of Siam. .
According to Spencer Lee, Head of Commercial for AirAsia Berhad, “Sihanoukville is an exciting destination with many untouched gems that have yet to be discovered. As the leading and Malaysia’s first carrier to operate this unique route, we want to continue to head the market by uncovering hidden Asean treasures like this Cambodian city to the world”.
The destination, although relatively unknown by a large public, is already well established among young tourists and backpackers. A few luxury properties opened in recent years making Sihanoukville increasingly attractive for middle class travellers as well as MICE organisers.
“Our footprint in Cambodia to date would not be possible without the help from local parties and we would like to thank the Cambodian airport authorities for their tremendous support. With this strong backing, we look forward to growing this destination and at the same time connect the people of Sihanoukville across Asean and beyond with our extensive network. We aim to develop Sihanoukville to become a tourist hotspot like how AirAsia has introduced unique destinations such as Luang Prabang or Banda Aceh and we believe this route introduction will be the first vital step to unlock more travel options for visitors into the coastal city”, added Spencer Lee.
Kuala Lumpur will be the second international destination connected to Sihanoukville. Cambodia Angkor Air used to fly four times a week to Ho Chi Minh City but stopped earlier this year. The only international scheduled service goes currently to Chengdu in Sichuan by Siem Reap-based carrier Skywings Asia Airlines. They are also plans for Bangkok Airways to fly in the future to Sihanoukville out of Bangkok.
AirAsia also connects Kuala Lumpur directly to capital city of Phnom Penh with 14 times weekly flights as well as Siem Reap with 14 times weekly flights as of 18 May 2017 while Thai AirAsia offers up to four daily flights out of Bangkok connecting both Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. In 2016, Sihanoukville recorded 156,000 passengers. For the first three months of 2017, the airport already welcomed 90,150 passengers, compared to 30,200 for the same period of 2016,a traffic up by almost 200%.