Angkor pride takes to the air as AirAsia Cambodia announces new domestic schedules

Angkor pride takes to the air as AirAsia Cambodia announces new domestic schedules

AirAsia Cambodia’s inaugural flight graced the skies of Phnom Penh International Airport on April 20, bringing with it the promise of enhanced connectivity and a tourism boost for Cambodia. 

As noted by Prime Minister Hun Manet in a recent social media post, the aircraft, adorned with the iconic image of Angkor Wat and traditional Cambodian motifs, marks a significant milestone in the country’s aviation industry.

“After completing flight demonstrations and test flights by April 30, AirAsia Cambodia is poised to receive its official flight operator certificate,” said Manet.

This will be followed by the launch of domestic operations on May 2. The airline’s flight schedule includes four daily flights connecting Phnom Penh with Siem Reap, home to the Kingdom’s internationally renowned Angkor Archaeological Park, and a similar timetable between Sihanoukville and Siem Reap.

David-Jaya Piot, president of the Siem Reap Chapter of the Cambodia Hotel Association, highlighted a recent surge in tourism, especially from European and American markets. He warned that Asian markets are yet to match this increase, with the South Korean market currently leading. 

Despite this, Piot, a French-Cambodian hotelier, expressed confidence in the sustainable state of tourism and the emergence of high-value travellers, which have spurred improvements in service quality across the province.

“This has led to an overall increase in the quality of experiences and services provided in our province,” he told The Post. 

He noted that the present moment is an opportune time to visit Cambodia, thanks to a lack of overcrowding and the availability of high-quality experiences.

Piot described Air Asia Cambodia as a very welcome addition to the tourism landscape. It will allow better connectivity to regional destinations and improve traveller flow throughout Southeast Asia.

The introduction of Red Naga, an aircraft proudly wearing AirAsia Cambodia colours, signals an auspicious new chapter for the airline, drawing inspiration from the Sacred Naga—a symbol of strength, protection, and abundance in Cambodian culture. 

Wrapped in the colours of the Cambodian flag and reminiscent of the splendour of Angkor Wat, the aircraft is set to offer travellers a new set of memorable experiences.

Fly AirAsia’s Facebook page shares the company’s enthusiasm, promising that the airline will change the face of Cambodian air travel, making it accessible to all with the rallying cry, “Now Everyone Can Fly.” 

With visions of day trips that span from sunrise at Angkor Wat to evening relaxation on the beaches of Sihanoukville, AirAsia Cambodia is eager to demonstrate the convenience of air travel.

Vorn Pov, president of the Independent Democracy of Informal Economy Association (IDEA), anticipated that AirAsia Cambodia’s expansion will benefit not just the tourism sector but also local transportation providers.

The income of taxi and tuk-tuk drivers, as well as restaurant operators and local merchants, is expected to rise significantly with the predicted influx of tourists. 

“If the new airport in Kandal province decides not to impose parking and road service fees on informal economy workers and transport providers servicing the airport, it will undoubtedly boost their incomes”, he told The Post. Phnom Penh

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