Airports See Strong Passenger Growth In H1

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Cambodia’s three international airports experienced robust passenger growth in the first six months of the year due to the presence of new air routes connecting the Kingdom to destinations across Asia.

Aircraft and employees on the tarmac at Phnom Penh International Airport. KT/Chor Sokunthea

According to figures from Vinci Airports, the main shareholder in Cambodia Airports, together the three airports welcomed 6 million passengers from January to June, a 15.5 percent increase compared to H1 last year.

The figure was obtained by combining all international and domestic passengers arriving to and departing from Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and Sihanoukville international airports, Vinci Airports said.

Phnom Penh’s airport handled just over 3 million passengers while Siem Reap’s welcomed 2.2 million, a 15.5 percent and 4.8 percent hike respectively.

Sihanoukville International Airport handled a smaller volume of passengers (755,000) but experienced the highest growth (210 percent).

The three airports received a total of 56,346 commercial flights, a 9.1 percent increase.

“In Cambodia, the three facilities operated by Cambodia Airport posted again an excellent performance, with growth of 25.1 percent in the second quarter,” Vinci Airports said in a press release.

It added that in June, Emirates opened a new daily service between Phnom Penh and Dubai, while Citilink inaugurated the first direct flight between Phnom Penh and Jakarta.

Cambodia now enjoys direct flights to every country in Asean except Brunei, according to Khek Norinda, communications and public relations director at Cambodia Airports.

In a recent interview, Mr Norinda told Khmer Times that the launch of new direct routes connecting the Kingdom to Indonesia could be an important driver of future growth.

According to the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA), 51 airlines operate in Cambodian airports. Six of them are registered locally.

SSCA’s spokesman Sin Chan Sereyvutha told Khmer Times that most international flights in Cambodia fly to China.

“With a stable political situation and healthy economic growth, Cambodia’s aviation sector continues to grow. More and more tourists, business people and investors are coming to Cambodia,” he said.

Mr Sereyvutha expects that next year new routes will be launch connecting Cambodia to India and Russia, as well as to countries in the Middle East and new destinations in China.

Last year, Cambodia’s international airports reached a significant milestone by handling a combined 10 million passengers.

This article was originally published in the Khmer Times.