Experts said that the new air routes will help create an attractive tourism triangle, facilitating the promising service sector of the two countries.

According to Undersecretary of the State at the Secretariat of Civil Aviation of Cambodia (SSCA), Soy Sokhan, SSCA and Vietnam Airlines are conducting a feasibility study for the two new routes.

Chairman of the Cambodian Association of Travel Agents Ho Vandy said both Phu Quoc island in Kien Giang province and Can Tho city are attractive tourism centres in Vietnam.

Once launched, the weekly flights will help transport a large number of foreign tourists to Cambodia, he added.

Vietnam News Agency - October 31, 2009

Two new air routes to Vietnam in planning

Cambodia and Vietnam aviation officials are planning to launch two new aviation routes between the two countries, officials said Thursday.

The routes will connect Phu Quoc Island, off the southern coast of Vietnam near the mouth of the Mekong River, with Sihanoukville International Airport, and the southern province of Can Tho with Phnom Penh.

State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) Undersecretary of State Soy Sokhan said the SSCA and its Vietnamese counterpart were conducting a joint feasibility study on the routes.

“We see huge potential for these routes,” he said. “Sihanoukville International Airport will be a popular destination for the tourism industry, but the Phnom Penh International Airport also has great potential for cargo shipments.”

It was too early to estimate when that feasibility study would be completed, he said, but one flight was expected to be scheduled daily in each direction on both routes.

Flag carrier in running

SSCA Secretary of State Mao Havannal said the routes had not yet been allocated to any carriers but confirmed that Cambodia Angkor Air had been involved in discussions. The airline is 51 percent owned by the Cambodian government in a joint venture with Vietnam Airlines.

Ho Vandy, co-chairman of the Government-Private Sector Forum’s Tourism Working Group, said Phu Quoc Island and Can Tho province were both popular tourism hubs in Vietnam and could be valuable feeders for the Cambodian tourism sector if the routes became available.

The Pnomh Penh Post - October 30, 2009