Direct Flights Between Cambodia and India Likely to Commence by 2024

Wed, 09/20/2023 - 14:17

As Cambodia and India near the conclusion of their bilateral free trade agreement negotiations, citizens of both countries can look forward to the launch of direct flight routes as early as the coming year.

The Ambassador of Cambodia to India, Kuong Koy highlighted that this development harmonized seamlessly with the remarkable upswing in diplomatic relations between these two nations in recent times. He revealed that India already maintained direct flight connections with nine other ASEAN member countries, except for Cambodia. Therefore, there is a strong likelihood of a direct flight route from New Delhi to Cambodia being established in the near future, specifically by early 2024. This endeavor is expected to facilitate smoother travel for both tourists and investors between the two countries.

Efforts are currently underway to collaborate with Lanmei Airlines to introduce two daily flight services: one connecting Phnom Penh and New Delhi and the other linking Siem Reap and Chennai. According to Cambodia's Ministry of Tourism, the first quarter of the year witnessed a substantial increase in Indian visitors, with 16,388 recorded compared to a mere 1,478 in the same period the previous year. India, with its population exceeding 1.4 billion, holds immense potential for Cambodia's tourism sector, especially considering the relatively short four-hour travel time between the two nations.

Additionally, it is noteworthy that the new Siem Reap Angkor International Airport is scheduled to commence operations on October 16. All commercial passenger and cargo flights currently served by the existing Siem Reap International Airport will be seamlessly transferred to the new facility on this date. This state-of-the-art airport, valued at USD 1.1 billion, is situated in Kriel Pong village and Provall village of Por Pel commune and Ta Yek commune, approximately 40 kilometers east of Siem Reap town. The new Siem Reap Angkor International Airport is poised to become a pivotal global gateway, boasting contemporary infrastructure and greater capacity compared to its predecessor.

Ambassador Koy emphasized the growing importance of the relationship between Cambodia and India, particularly as both nations celebrate the 70th anniversary of their diplomatic relations. Meanwhile, Indian Ambassador to Cambodia, Devyani Khobragade, underscored the excellent political ties between the two countries, which have created significant opportunities for enhancing economic and commercial relations, as well as facilitating business-to-business (B2B) initiatives.

In the fiscal year 2023-2024, trade between India and Cambodia reached a value of USD 366 million, and this economic partnership is on a continuous upward trajectory. Indian investments in Cambodia have surged to an estimated USD 115 million, with a particular focus on sectors such as pharmaceuticals, automobiles, and mining. TThe introduction of direct flights is expected to have a profound impact on the economic relationship between the two countries, streamlining trade processes and facilitating faster logistics.