JC International Airlines launched a new regular flight connecting the cities of Siem Reap and Chongqing in China, a service that seeks to capitalise on the increasing number of Chinese visitors to the Kingdom. The new direct service between the two cities had its official start on Sunday, with flights three times per week on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
“This new service shows the rapid growth of JC Airlines in the Kingdom, and its great potential in bringing Chinese tourists to visit the temples of Angkor,” Cheav Kirirom, production manager at JC Airlines, said. “The airline is also planning a new direct flight between Sihanoukville and Chongqing.”
JC International Airlines officially launched in March this year as a local company with an investment capital of $50 million and daily flights between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, and Siem Reap and Sihanoukville. The company has already announced plans to expand its routes to include ASEAN member states, as well as China, Taiwan, Macau, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan and Europe.
State Secretariat of Civil Aviation spokesman Sinn Sereyvutha told Khmer Times the new flight service is in line with the Ministry of Tourism’s goal to attract two million Chinese tourists by 2020. “To take full advantage of opportunities in the sector we need to be ready to welcome them through good standards in the hospitality industry, including quality service and staff that can communicate in Chinese,” he said.
There are currently seven local airlines operating in Cambodia and next year four new companies will join the aviation market, said Sereyvutha. “The four companies are KC International Airline, Prince International Airline, Air Siem Reap, and Cambodia Airway. These new companies will do their part in bringing Chinese tourists and business travellers to the country,” he added.
Ho Vandy, adviser to the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce and president of World Express Tour and Travel, said the new flight will facilitate travel into the country for both tourists and investors, while also allowing Cambodians to visit the East Asian giant. “With more competition in the aviation industry, travellers will have many more options and locals will have more opportunities to visit some of the wonderful destinations China has to offer,” he said.