Cambodia Bayon Airlines made its inaugural flight to Sihanoukville on Sunday, more than three months after the Chinese airline opened a daily route between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap City.
According to a statement from Bayon Airlines, a subsidiary of the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China, the Xian MA60 turboprop left Phnom Penh at 8:10 a.m. and arrived in Sihanoukville at 11 a.m., following a short layover in Siem Reap.
“This flight marks the start of the Cambodia Bayon Airlines summer schedule, which has daily flights between Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and Sihanouk Ville as well as direct flights from Phnom Penh to Sihanouk Ville on weekends,” the statement says.
“As Sihanouk Ville continues to grow and the tourism and business market in Cambodia develops, Bayon Airlines anticipates demand for travel within Cambodia will grow as well.”
Keo Sivorn, director-general of the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation, Cambodia’s aviation authority, said Monday that with flag carrier Cambodia Angkor Air also flying the Siem Reap-to-Sihanoukville route daily, the local aviation industry was experiencing healthy growth.
“You know, the free market should [have] competitor. It’s a good market if we have competitors.”
According to a January report from the Australia-based Center for Asia Pacific Aviation, Cambodia’s aviation sector grew 13 percent last year—the highest growth rate in Southeast Asia—due largely to increasing numbers of Chinese visitors.
© 2015, The Cambodia Daily. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced in print, electronically, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without written permission.