Mar 31, 2014

Cambodia Being The Fastest Growing Air Market In Southeast Asia

The Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation published recently a study showing that Cambodia is becoming Southeast Asia fastest growing markets with growth in passengers traffic reaching 18% for the second year in a row. Expansion is now engaged to double capacity at both Phnom Penh and Siem Reap airports.

Siem Reap International Airport, the air gateway serving Angkor Wat temples continue to register the highest passengers growth rates in Cambodia. Last year, the airport welcomed over 2.75 million passengers, up by over 20%. The airport is likely to reach or to close to three million passengers this year. Phnom Penh international Airport recorded 2.38 million passengers, up by 15%. Even Sihanoukville, the country third international airport, started to see some movement. The small Southern gateway welcomed last year over 20,000 passengers, a growth of 41% over 2012.

Cambodian airports’ good performance is due to the strong growth in tourism but also in the number of flights and air carriers in the Cambodian market. While national carrier Cambodia Angkor Air has finally embarked into rapid expansion, opening in a year time seven new routesn, mostly to China PRC. CAA network added last year from Phnom Penh the cities of Bangkok, Hanoi and Shanghai while from Siem Reap, the carrier launched flights to Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Shanghai and Wenzhou. In February, CAA launched a sixth route to China, Siem Reap-Fuzhou served with three weekly flights. The delivery of a new Airbus A321 could translate into new services to Korea and China.

The arrival of new Chinese carriers (Spring Airlines, Air China or Tianjin Airlines) had a tremendous effect on traffic. China represents now 15% of all seat capacities to and from Cambodia. This is the third largest market after Vietnam and Thailand which represent both some 22% to 25% of all available seats. Vietnam plays a leading and rather influential role in Cambodia. Vietnam Airlines represents not only over 15% of total seat capacity on international routes, it is also  the main foreign stake holder in Cambodia Angkor Air, the country’s flag carrier. In total, 29 airlines serve now Cambodia.

Cambodian airports are now investing 100 million US$ to the expansion of both airports. Work started in January on the expansion of terminals and aprons. More check-in and immigration counters as well as new baggage handling systems will be installed. When expansion works will be achieved by 2015 for Siem Reap and 2016 for Phnom Penh, the capacity of each airport will be of 5 million passengers on an annual basis.
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