Air China has announced plans for a new direct flight linking Phnom Penh and Beijing, a statement on the Facebook page of Cambodia State Secretariat of Civil Aviation said. It will be the first route that China national carrier will have to Cambodia.
The new route was confirmed during a meeting between representatives of the airline and aviation officials last Tuesday. The inaugural flight is set to take off sometime in early November. Earlier announcement from Air China mentioned a start in September.
Air China says it plans to run three flights a week between the two countries’ capitals using an Airbus A320 aircraft.The flight will arrive in the evening in Phnom Penh while the return will land in Beijing early in the morning.
However, State Secretariat of Civil Aviation spokesman Sin Chan Sereivutha told The Post on Tuesday that the company had not yet applied for the flight authorisation. It will be the first flight for Air China to Cambodia according to aviation authorities. The flight will also provide to passengers an opportunity to connect in Beijing on Air China extensive international and domestic air network.
The announcement comes amid the strong growth of Chinese visitors to Cambodia in the first half of this year.
Over 930,000 Chinese tourists arrived during the period – representing 31 per cent of total visitors. There were 380,000 Vietnamese visitors during the same period, according to data from the Ministry of Tourism.
The flow of Chinese tourists into the Kingdom is boosting air connections between Cambodia and China. Beside the Air China route, many other carriers recently launched new routes or are on the verge to add new air services. Last Monday, Sichuan Airlines launched four weekly services between Sihanoukville and Chongqing; Shenzhen Airlines will launch on September 3 three weekly flights between Phnom Penh and Nanning.
Finally, Cambodia-registered carrier Lanmei Airlines launched three routes out of Siem Reap offering since the end of July three weekly flights to Tianjin, a weekly service to Meixian and Ordos, The carrier offers also a weekly flight between Sihanoukville and Shantou.