Cambodian airports enjoy sky-rocketing passengers’ numbers as more airlines add flights into the Kingdom.
According to Khmer Times, in the first quarter of 2018 the three international airports –Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and Sihanoukville– welcomed 3 million passengers, experiencing a rise of 26.1% compared to the previous year thanks to the increased number of new airlines and the opening of new routes.
Growth was particularly strong in the capital, as Phnom Penh International Airport welcomed 1.4 million passengers, up 34.5%, reflecting the arrival of new carriers like Malindo, VietJet Air and Shenzhen Airlines, the stimulus of Chinese carriers such as Spring, China Southern Airlines and Xiamen Airlines, and the opening of major new routes by local airlines to Singapore and Bangkok by JC Airlines and Lanmei Airlines.
Activity was also good at Siem Reap International Airport, up 17.4%, with travellers from China PRC and the domestic market being the main drivers of growth.
Besides, Siem Reap has direct routes with other destinations in the Mekong region, such as Hanoi, Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam, Vientiane and Luang Prabang in Laos, Bangkok and Phuket in Thailand, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and Singapore.
Cambodian Airports, a subsidiary of French VINCI, continued its long-term commitment to developing air transport in the country despite the announcement of the Cambodian government to open two greenfield airports in both Siem Reap and Phnom Penh.
In December 2017, the authority celebrated the opening of a new arrivals hall at Phnom Penh International Airport. The domestic concourse has also been expanded and has two new boarding gates. In total, Phnom Penh can accommodate up to five million passengers a year with the possibility to double this capacity. If growth continues at the same tempo, Phnom Penh would largely surpass the 5 million passengers mark this year.
In Siem Reap, the airport has currently a similar capacity of 5 to 6 million passengers, while Sihanoukville, which saw its traffic jumping by 115% last year to 350,000 passengers, will see the inauguration of a new terminal with a capacity for 500,000 to 600,000 passengers a year.
During the first quarter, two new carriers added services to Sihanoukville from China. Ruli Air flies since the end of March three times weekly to Kunming while Hainan Airlines flies twice a week to Shenzhen.
Last year, international travellers visiting Cambodia totaled 5.6 million, 11.8% more than in 2016, according to the Ministry of Tourism. The government expects to welcome 6.1 million international visitors in 2018 and 7 million by 2020. It’s estimated that 59% of foreign tourists arrive in the country by air.
Baolau integrates domestic and international flights to Cambodia. Travellers can book tickets for flights departing and arriving at Phnom Penh (PNH), Siem Reap (REP) and Sihanoukville (KOS) airports, connecting with other destinations in Southeast Asia.