SIEM REAP: Prime Minister Hun Manet presided over the inauguration ceremony of the Siem Reap-Angkor International Airport on November 16, where Cambodian and Chinese officials gathered to celebrate the large airport and express hope for the recovery of tourism within Cambodia.
Siem Reap-Angkor International Airport is located 41km from Angkor Wat and just over 50km from Siem Reap, a distance which preserves the ancient archaeological site and its surroundings.
Minister in charge of the Secretariat of State for Civil Aviation, Mao Havannall, hopes that the new airport will be able to attract domestic and international tourists, as well as more airlines, especially from China. Currently there are only 34 regular flights serviced through Siem Reap, which is 32% of the capacity the city was receiving in 2019 before Covid. Mao Havannall said he hopes the aviation sector will bounce back soon.
Governor of China’s Yunnan Province, Wang Yubo, said that the new airport has paved the way for economic and trade cooperation between China and Cambodia, and that it brings the two countries together to build a better future by promoting China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
Speaking at the inauguration, Prime Minister Hun Manet said that the inauguration of a modern airport with access to a large number of aircraft is an achievement not only for the present, but also prepares for the future. He urged the airport’s managing staff to provide excellent hospitality so that tourists leave with fond memories.
"We have to make sure that all the work [is quality], including hospitality, service, delivery, both outside and inside. We will make it a place where the passers-by have good memories and that the airport is there to warmly receive guests and provide services.”
Construction of Siem Reap-Angkor International Airport began in March 2020 with an investment of approximately $1.1 billion through a BOT (Buy-Operate-Trade) investment. This means that the Chinese companies that built the airport will own and operate it for 55 years before it belongs to Cambodia.