A Thai diplomat will ask for the resumption of flights from S’ville

The top Thai diplomat recently vowed to ask Thai airlines to restart regular direct flights from Bangkok to Sihanoukville International Airport as economic activities in the province resume.

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Pichit Boonsud, Deputy Head of Mission at the Royal Thai Embassy in Cambodia, was speaking at a meeting between officials from Preah Sihanouk Province led by Governor Kuoch Chamroeun and Thai Embassy delegates led by him.

“We will endeavor to push for the resumption of direct flights from Bangkok to Preah Sihanouk province,” Pichit said in a statement after receiving a request from Chamroeun, who said the Cambodian government had provided financial support and human resources for infrastructure development in the province.

Pichit said Preah Sihanouk province has remarkable development potential. “We have to work together
more, especially for signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for better economic and tourism ties,” he said, commending Cambodia for implementing health measures to effectively combat Covid-19. .

Direct flights to Sihanoukville International Airport are now operated from Vietnam, while charter flights originate from China, Vietnam, Thailand, Dubai and European countries, according to the provincial vice governor.

“Now our businesses have reopened and so we have requested the restart of direct flights from Thailand,” said Long Dimanche, deputy governor of Preah Sihanouk province, adding that currently only charter flights from Bangkok are available. .

Pichit also urged the governor to provide more support to the Port of Okhna Mong – a joint venture between MRG, Thailand-based TCC Group and Cambodia’s first private seaport for major import destinations from Thailand, Malaysia and China – on 26.5 hectares in the port area of ​​the province’s Stueng Hav district.

Chamroeun said that Preah Sihanouk province has already signed a memorandum of understanding with Trat province and will soon sign another one with Chanthaburi province.

A delegation from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) had met with senior officials in Preah Sihanouk late last month to assess the province’s economic potential once the new passenger terminal under construction by Cambodia Airport (SCA) in Sihanoukville will be completed.

The Deputy Governor told the delegation that the province has great potential in the areas of commerce, international trade, industry, tourism, agro-industry, construction, real estate, deep water port and railway.

Other major initiatives of the development of the coastal province.

Development in the province of Preah Sihanouk can be made sustainable by transforming it into a modern city with the most beautiful beach in the world, a multi-purpose special economic zone, an international checkpoint, a national logistics center which connects ASEAN to global markets and industrial hubs with advanced production technology, Sunday added.

Sihanoukville International Airport is one of three airports operated by Cambodia Airports (SCA), the others being Phnom Penh International Airport and Siem Reap International Airport.

Norinda Khek, Director of Communications and Public Relations at SCA, said Khmer time that Sihanoukville Airport currently receives only one scheduled international flight and is operated from Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam.

“We continue to discuss with various airlines the possibility of restarting more flights and we maintain our positive outlook on this,” Norinda said.

From January to June 2022, the number of passengers in Phnom Penh increased almost fivefold compared to the same period in 2021, with 598,000 passengers. “However, we are still only around 20% of the 2019 level. Cargo volume handled at Phnom Penh International Airport has also increased over the past two to three months,” Norinda added.

“We expect further improvement in passenger traffic at the country’s three airports by the end of the year, with the possible reopening of the Chinese market, a further lifting of travel barriers and the start of the tourist season,” he said. he declared. .

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