Cambodia Airports, which has been developing the Kingdom’s three international airports, has announced that some airlines have restored flights to and from Phnom Penh Cambodia.
The airport said this week some airlines have reconnected flights, including the Singapore-based SilkAir on Tuesdays and Sundays.
“We have the great pleasure of announcing that SilkAir is connecting Phnom Penh to Singapore while Cambodia Airways is adding a flight from Phnom Penh to Fuzhou on Thursdays and JC Airlines is re-opening the flight to Kunming on Wednesdays,” the company said.
However, the list and frequency of flights may be subject to change because of flight programme modifications from the airline’s partners, according to the airport.
The Kingdom’s three international airports welcomed 11.6 million passengers last year, a 10.2 percent increase from 2018, according to a report from Cambodia Airports.
In 2019, Phnom Penh International Airport exceeded 6 million arrivals, an annual increase of 11.2 percent, while Sihanoukville International Airport saw a 158 percent increase to 1.6 million passengers and Siem Reap International Airport, in contrast, saw a decline of 12.3 percent with just 3.9 million people passing through the airport.
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 global tourism and aviation sector as well as Cambodia have been gravely threatened by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thoun Sinan, president of the Pacific Asia Travel Association, welcomed the news, saying that it is a good sign for both the tourism and aviation sectors, which are seeing a gradual improvement.
“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.”
However, Sinan said more caution is needed to contain the spread of the virus, which could harm the industry in the longer term.
Cambodia has temporarily banned flights from the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia after planes from these countries brought new cases of COVID-19.
Prime Minister Hun Sen and Japan’s Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi have agreed for the two countries to reopen borders for expatriates.
The two countries will also work towards easing entry restrictions for short-term business travelers.
Japan will grant entry to expatriates and business people from Singapore and Cambodia from this month as part of the country’s reopening efforts that are expected to provide a small measure of relief to its battered hospitality sector.
China announced on Wednesday it would reconnect international direct flights from eight countries to Beijing from yesterday, including Cambodia, Greece, Denmark, Thailand, Pakistan, Austria, Canada and Sweden, all of which are considered to be low risk for importing COVID-19.
This article was first published in Khmer Times. All contents and images are copyright to their respective owners and sources.