With the Siem Reap International Airport, due to be operational in October 2023, details on passenger transportation, new routes, and flights are still to be announced, but the ASEAN-New Zealand Air Services Agreement (ANZ-ASA) signed off on September 13 2023 could open up passenger and/or cargo services between ASEAN and New Zealand.
SSCA spokesman Sinn Chanserey Vutha previously said “The new Siem Reap Angkor International Airport will be an important gateway for flights from around the world given its contemporary facilities and larger size than the existing airport.”
The successful negotiations for the NZ and ASEAN air services agreement were held in Siem Reap, and as per Protocol 1 of the ANZ-ASA, it means eligible airlines can operate “between ASEAN countries and New Zealand with unlimited 3rd and 4th freedom traffic rights.”
Furthermore, it means eligible airlines could fly up to seven weekly services with 5th freedom traffic rights in addition to existing bilateral entitlements between each individual ASEAN state and New Zealand. This is eligible for one year from the date of entry into force of the agreement and airlines could increase this to 14 weekly services with 5th freedom traffic rights in addition to existing bilateral entitlements after one year from the date of entry into force of the agreement.
What ASEAN-New Zealand Air Routes Are Operational
In 2023, there are no scheduled passenger airlines operating on the New Zealand – Laos, Viet Nam, the Philippines, Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand, or Brunei Darussalam country pair routes.
Air New Zealand flies to Indonesia thrice weekly on the Auckland – Denpasar city pair, while the New Zealand – Malaysia country pair has daily flights between Auckland and Kuala Lumpur on Malaysia Airlines and Batik Air Malaysia and AirAsia X fly into Auckland via Australian airports.
Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines operate a Singapore – Auckland city pair, with Singapore Airlines offering daily A350-900 flights on the Singapore – Christchurch city pair and a weekly freighter flight into Auckland via Melbourne Tullamarine.
Siem Reap International Airport (SAI) 2023 Opening – What Do We Know?
The Siem Reap Angkor International Airport (SAI) is set to start operations on October 16 2023 and the big picture is to attract larger aircraft from more places and from farther away.
The nearly ready 4E class airport can accommodate 38 aircraft and boasts a 3,600-metre runway which can accommodate larger long-haul aircraft.
SAI Airport’s ground floor is due to be accessible to various transportation options which include; transfer buses, car rentals, and taxis.
Facilitating direct flights for international tourists to visit the Kingdom of Wonder is a key agenda. Sok Soken, the newly appointed Minister of Tourism, has yet to clearly provide the details for the impact of the Pentagonal Strategy-Phase I on tourism but the three primary goals and five strategic pillars are due to place Cambodia as a top global tourism destination under the theme “tourism connects land and nature.”
- AirAsia has already indicated it will be utilising 16 check-in counters (Row C01-C16) and the check-in process is due to be faster and smoother than currently. The first AirAsia flights to land at the SIA are scheduled to be AirAsia Malaysia flights AK542 and AK540 from Kuala Lumpur.
- Cambodia Angkor Air has been running promotions for the launch of the flights to SAI.
Information from Vinci Airports indicated that for the first 8 months of 2023, traffic is up 2.9 times compared to 2022 – and Cambodian airports (among the dozen or so that manage globally) show the greatest growth rate in 2023.