Cambodia Angkor Air to start 1st direct Delhi flights from June; Mumbai route on the cards: CCO

Speaking further to Travel Trends Today (T3) on the sidelines of direct flight roadshow in Delhi today, airline CCO Eng Molina revealed the airline’s plans to further connect Phnom Penh with Mumbai, with an announcement expected next year, though he did not provide a specific timeline.

Cambodia’s national flag carrier, Cambodia Angkor Air, has today announced the start of direct flights between Phnom Penh and New Delhi. This new service, operating under the flight code K6760/K6761, will fly four times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, marking the first direct connection between the two capitals.

Eng Molina, Chief Commerce Officer of Cambodia Angkor Air, stated that the new service was introduced in response to the increasing demand from Indian travellers and the need for direct connectivity between Cambodia and India. “By offering this direct flight, we aim to tap into India’s growing outbound travel market. Cambodia is relatively unexplored by Indian travellers, and we want to attract them for various purposes, including leisure, religious, and medical tourism,” he said. Molina also emphasised the airline’s commitment to providing safety and convenience to passengers.

Speaking further to Travel Trends Today (T3) on the sidelines of direct flight roadshow in Delhi today, Molina revealed the airline’s plans to further connect Phnom Penh with Mumbai, with an announcement expected next year, though he did not provide a specific timeline.

Visa waiver, flight route extension to aid the Indian traffic into Cambodia

During the roadshow, Anil Kalsi, Vice President at TAFI, advocated for an extension of the new route to Siem Reap. He noted that the flight from India arrives in Phnom Penh at 2:30 AM and extending the route to Siem Reap would be beneficial. “Travellers could reach Siem Reap by 7 or 8 AM, stay for 2-3 days, and then return to Phnom Penh, creating a well-rounded week-long itinerary.” Kalsi highlighted that currently there are challenges in domestic connectivity between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.

Cambodia Angkor Air has introduced a roundtrip fare of INR 22,166 as part of their inaugural pricing. Kalsi emphasised that maintaining this reasonable fare would make the destination more attractive and affordable, boosting its tourism potential among Indians. He also mentioned that Phnom Penh and Siem Reap are already popular, and the new route launching in June is expected to further expand the market.

Speaking on ease of visa processes for Indians, he strongly urged for a waiver, emphasising that it would enhance Indian travellers’ experience and significantly boost tourism numbers. Currently, Indian citizens require a visa to enter Cambodia, as there is no visa-free entry.

Cambodia-India Cultural Tourism Year of 2024

Cambodia Angkor Air’s historic launch also comes on heels of the “Cambodia-India Cultural Tourism Year” of 2024, which further signifies a profound step towards enhancing economic, cultural and tourist exchange between the two countries. During the Delhi roadshow, Kuong Koy, Cambodia Ambassador to India underscored how direct flights facilitate Indian entrepreneurs to invest in vibrant Cambodia, while Seila Hul, Under Secretary of State of Cambodia Ministry of Tourism, extended the invitation to Indian tourists.

“We commit to warmly show ‘Khmer Smile’, providing safe and comfortable journeys; with plans to open new routes connecting Siem Reap to Delhi and Phnom Penh to other cities in India soon,” said Dr. David Yuhong Zhan, Director of Cambodia Tourism Board (CTB), Vice Chairman and CEO of Cambodia Angkor Air, in an official statement during the roadshow.

Nearly two hundred representatives from both countries’ tourism and civil aviation, as well as media outlets, participated in the event, exploring various collaboration opportunities. Cambodia Angkor Air, which is represented by APG India (GSA) in the country, has served as Cambodian National Flag Carrier, with history dating back to 1956. It is the sole Cambodian carrier to have received the IOSA safety audit certification, which recognises its commitment to excellence, safety, and customer satisfaction. Besides handling the commercial flights, the airline also handles the royal and governmental VIP missions.

By Gagneet Kaur