[INNEWS Comprehensive Report] Recently, the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation of Cambodia (SSCA) revealed that Qatar Airways, a giant airline in the Middle East, will return to the Phnom Penh aviation market on October 29 this year.
Vann Chanty, Director of the Air Transport Bureau of the Civil Aviation Secretariat of Cambodia, said that Qatar Airways plans to restart flights to Phnom Penh in time for the peak tourist season in response to growing air transport demand. While Qatar Airways is grounded, Cambodia has been trying to attract other airlines to pick up the slack. Now, with the return of Qatar Airways, Phnom Penh will once again be well connected to numerous destinations in the Middle East.
It is understood that Qatar Airways is one of the largest airlines in the Middle East, with a total fleet of more than 240 aircraft, and is the only major airline in the Middle East that has joined the global airline alliance. The resumption of Qatar Airways flights to 11 destinations including Phnom Penh, Beijing, Birmingham, Buenos Aires, Casablanca and Tokyo will undoubtedly bring new vitality to the global tourism market.
As the global epidemic is gradually brought under control, Cambodia’s tourism industry has also shown explosive growth. According to the report of the Cambodian Ministry of Tourism, from January to July 2023, Cambodia will receive more than 3 million foreign tourists, an increase of 308.5% from the 743,459 in the same period in 2022. Behind this number is Cambodia’s huge investment in tourism and the gradual resumption of international flights.
It is worth noting that Qatar Airways started daily flights to Phnom Penh in February 2013, thus becoming the first Middle Eastern airline to operate direct flights to Phnom Penh. The return of Qatar Airways to the Phnom Penh market will undoubtedly build a convenient bridge for tourists from Cambodia to dozens of destinations in the Middle East, Europe, Africa, North America and South America. This will greatly promote the development of Cambodia’s tourism industry and bring new opportunities to the global aviation market.
With the return of Qatar Airways, the number of flights to Phnom Penh will also be significantly increased.
SSCA deputy director general Sinn Chanserey Vutha said that as of May 31, 2023, there are 26 international airlines operating 844 weekly flights to and from Cambodia, most of which are to intra-Asean destinations. Phnom Penh accounted for the majority of flights with 634 flights or 75.1% of the total, followed by Siem Reap province with 196 flights or 23.2% and Sihanoukville province with 22 flights or 2.6%.
This data shows that the recovery of Cambodia’s aviation market is strong. Globally, Qatar Airways continues to be an industry leader. As a five-star airline, Qatar Airways will provide connections to “many other destinations” between Cambodia and the Middle East.