Cambodia is developing increased air connectivity with China, as several airlines expand their routes.

State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) spokesperson Sinn Chanserey Vutha announced on November 18 that additional flights are being introduced between the two countries. 

The recent inauguration of the new Siem Reap-Angkor International Airport (SAI) has played a role in this development. To further enhance economic ties and cultural exchanges, China Southern Airlines is set to increase its weekly direct flights to Cambodia from the current two to four, effective from December.

“China Southern Airlines is set to enhance air connectivity with Cambodia, as reported by the China News Service. Starting from December 1, the airline plans to increase its direct flights to Cambodia to four per week. The specific flights involved are CZ6059 and CZ323, operating daily on the Guangzhou-Phnom Penh route” he said.

He mentioned that with the Chinese New Year and the upcoming 2024 China-Cambodia people-to-people exchanges, several airlines have announced the inclusion of flights between China and Cambodia, starting in December. This initiative aims to facilitate travel for Chinese citizens, international tourists and investors.

Chanserey Vutha said that China Southern Airlines is also set to introduce a new Guangzhou-Phnom Penh flight, CZ8313, operating once a day on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. This addition will bring the airline’s weekly flights between Guangzhou and Phnom Penh to a total of 36.

“Cambodia Airlines is set to start flights from Phnom Penh to Jinan in Shandong province on December 23. The Saturday flights from Jinan to Phnom Penh are scheduled to depart at 3pm, reaching Phnom Penh around 7pm local time. Additionally, Cambodia Airways has outlined plans to introduce new flights from Phnom Penh to Haikou, Hainan and Sanya next year,” he added.

As per the SSCA, cities in China with direct flights to Phnom Penh include Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Nanning, Chengdu and Kunming. With the easing of the Covid-19 situation, an increasing number of international tourists and investors are returning to Cambodia.

A recent SSCA report stated that the new Siem Reap-Angkor International Airport sees an average of 2,900 passengers daily, with approximately 44 daily flights (round trips). 75 per cent of the flights originate from ASEAN and China.

Currently, seven international airlines and one domestic airline operate flights to and from Cambodia. This number is expected to increase to upwards of 10 in the upcoming winter 2023 season.