Flag Carrier Says China Is A Priority

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Cambodia Angkor Air, the national flag carrier, has made the Chinese market a priority, aiming to capitalise on the growing numbers of Chinese tourists to the Kingdom, a company representative said.

facebook/Cambodia Angkor Air

With the number of Chinese investors and tourists coming to Cambodia growing every year, attracting more Chinese passengers has become one of the most important goals for the airline, said Sim Duongchan Darapich, deputy general manager of Cambodia Angkor Air’s commercial division.

Mr Darapich said Chinese were the top visitors to the Kingdom by nationality last year, adding that Chinese passengers account for about half of Cambodia Angkor Air’s customers.

“We now fly to seven cities in China, which is about three-fifths of our routes.

“The competition at home is very high, with multiple airlines – old and new – trying to capture a portion of our share of the market,” he said.

Mr Darapich said the airline’s position in the local market remains strong. He said Cambodia Angkor Air now has six aircraft: three ATR-72, two Airbus A320, and one A321.

“We are working hard to expand our fleet. We now service all three Cambodian airports, as well as Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, and seven destinations in China,” Mr Darapich said.

“Cargo is also an important part of our business, allowing us to have a competitive edge over other airlines and adding to our revenue stream,” he added.

According to the Ministry of Tourism, over 1.9 million Chinese nationals visited the Kingdom in 2018, making China the number one source of tourists for Cambodia. Direct flights connecting the two countries have increased dramatically, from 110 flights per week in 2016 to 404 flights per week now, according to a government report.

Cambodia welcomed 6.2 million international visitors in 2018, an 11 percent year-on-year jump. The country is expected to attract 3 million Chinese holidaymakers in 2020 and up to 5 million by 2025.

This article was originally published in the Khmer Times.