The US$880 million Siem Reap Angkor International Airport held its first flight ceremony

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[INNEWS Comprehensive Report] On October 16, the first commercial flight ceremony of Siem Reap Angkor International Airport (SAI) was held grandly on October 16, 2023. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Vongsey Vissoth and Minister of State Secretariat for Civil Aviation Mao Havanal and other relevant officials attended.

Vongsey Vissoth revealed that Siem Reap Angkor International Airport will hold an official opening ceremony on November 16 this year, which will be presided over by Prime Minister Hong Manet.

Vongsey Vissoth said Siem Reap-Angkor International Airport is very attractive to attract more tourists and investors because it can receive direct flights and large aircraft from distant areas, saving passengers time and money. In the past, most international travelers and tourists to Cambodia came from neighboring countries because the old airport could only handle small aircraft.

“The Siem Reap Angkor International Airport will become an important economic force, not only promoting tourism, but also benefiting agriculture, science and technology and other sectors, especially air transport. The international airport is a historic achievement for Cambodia and will become a major player in Cambodia and The region’s main economic force in the future.” he said.

Vongsey Vissoth pointed out that with the forecast of infrastructure investment in natural resources and other important entities, Siem Reap Province will become an important economic pole for Cambodia’s development in the near future, especially playing an important “catalyst” role in promoting Cambodia’s economic recovery and development. , and promote tourism development.

It is understood that the total investment in the Siem Reap Angkor International Airport project is US$880 million. The investment is led by Yunnan Investment Group, with Yunnan Construction Investment Group responsible for construction and Yunnan Aviation Industry Investment Group responsible for operation. It is implemented by Chinese-funded enterprises overseas in a BOT model. The first international airport. This 700-hectare airport is rated 4E, with a total of 38 parking spaces and a terminal building area of 81,800 square meters. Siem Reap Angkor International Airport is located in Sonigong District, Siem Reap Province, only 40 kilometers away from Angkor Wat. ​

Cambodia’s air transport industry has recovered by nearly 50%

Mao Havanal, Minister of the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation, said that compared with before the COVID-19 crisis, Cambodia’s air transport activities have recovered by nearly 50% so far. From January to September 2023, Cambodia received nearly 3.7 million air passengers, a year-on-year increase of 162%; it also received 37,200 flights, a year-on-year increase of 102%. In early October 2023, Cambodia’s three international airports had an average of 850 flights per week, with 30 domestic and foreign airlines operating flights to and from 8 ASEAN countries, China, South Korea, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Taiwan, China, and Qatar.

Mao Havanal said that although the current daily flight volume is only 34 flights, or 32% of 2019, we still hope that the opening of Siem Reap Angkor International Airport will attract more air flights, especially flights from China .

Mao Havanal pointed out that Siem Reap Angkor International Airport will also contribute to the long-term and sustainable growth of Cambodia’s economy, especially improving Cambodia’s competitiveness in the context of Cambodia’s economic integration into ASEAN and the world. At the same time, the development of Siem Reap’s Angkor International Airport and the surrounding area will not only contribute to economic growth, job creation and poverty reduction, but is also a valuable achievement.