More international flights resume to Cambodia

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Cambodia has seen a number of new international flights resume services to the Kingdom, with more on the way if the COVID-19 situation remains stable.

The exact list and frequency of international flights are still subject to change “because of flight programme modifications from the airline’s partners” said Cambodia Airports, who run the Kingdom’s three international airports in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and in Sihanoukville.

Cambodia Air Communications and Public Relations Director Khek Norinda said: “For the level of air traffic in the months ahead, we don’t see any clear pattern. Globally, the COVID-19 situation is in flux and there’s no sign of the significant lifting of border restrictions.”

The latest round of measures for international business visitors to Cambodia in August outlines the procedures.

Japan

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and Japan’s Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi agreed for the two countries to reopen borders for expatriates and they are trying to ease entry restrictions for short-term business travellers.

ANA is expected to resume daily flights to Phnom Penh from Tokyo on October 1st 2020.

Japan will grant entry to expatriates and businesspeople from Singapore and Cambodia from September 2020.

Singapore

Cambodia Airports confirmed that some airlines have restored flights to and from Phnom Penh including Singapore-based SilkAir on Tuesdays and Sundays.

Flights have obtained approval for passengers travelling from Cambodia to transit in Singapore.

The budget JetStar Asia said it was also resuming flights in mid-September (Sept 18th) between Singapore and Cambodia.

China

Cambodia Airways also announced it was adding a flight from Phnom Penh to Fuzhou on Thursdays and JC Airlines is re-opening the flight to Kunming on Wednesdays.

The first inbound flights from Phnom Penh to Beijing were also announced in September 2020. The announcement would reconnect direct international direct flights from eight countries to Beijing, including from:

  • Cambodia
  • Greece
  • Denmark
  • Thailand
  • Pakistan
  • Austria
  • Canada
  • Sweden

A number of other airlines have maintained flights between China and Cambodia throughout 2020. Travellers must also undergo a mandatory 14-day concentrated medical observation.

Vietnam

Vietnam plans to resume flights to Cambodia, Japan, South Korea, Guangzhou, and Laos in September. However inbound travellers will still need to undergo a two-week quarantine.

The Vietnam defence ministry is setting up quarantine camps in Ha Nội, Ho Chi Minh City and Can Thơ if they get approval for the flights to start up.

South Korea

Most international passengers trying to reach Cambodia for work or family reason have been using Seoul as a transit from the US, Australia and Europe.

International flight bans to Cambodia

Cambodia has temporarily banned flights from the following countries due to importing a high number of new cases of COVID-19:

  • Philippines
  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia

Cambodian tourism impacted by COVID-19

In a report by the Khmer Times, Thoun Sinan, president of the Pacific Asia Travel Association, said “I see more airlines resuming their flights and we are happy to see the progress. It is our hope that things will return to normal soon, especially for the tourism and hospitality sector, which have been hard hit by COVID-19,” he said. “We cannot close all entry because we need investors coming in to boost economic activity and production.”

On September 3rd 2020, the Cambodian Ministry of Tourism secretary of state Tith Chantha said the Kingdom had “lost $5 billion in tourism revenue in 2020 because of Covid-19″.

Chantha added that there was still some international tourism earlier in the year (January and February 2020) but since March it had decreased due to travel restrictions.

“Currently, international tourists to Cambodia are only in the category of business tourism, which means only business people who come to do business in Cambodia. There are no ordinary international tourists” said a report in the Phnom Penh Post.

The Angkor Archeological Park, one of the most popular tourist destinations in SEA, received 393,293 foreign visitors from January-August 2020, which is a 74 per cent decrease compared to the same period in 2019.

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