Myanmar Airways International (MAI) will resume its regular flights between Yangon and Cambodia’s two main international airports in early December after they were suspended for about three months.
MAI started a twice-weekly schedule to Siem Reap in late February, but suspended the route over the last few months due to low demand, according to Lav Heng, a sales agent for MAI in Cambodia and the Chairman of VLK Royal Tourism.
“Now they’ve decided to resume the flight on the first of December,” he said.
“At the same time, they will add two more departures to the previous routes – two for Phnom Penh, every Wednesday and Saturday and two for Siem Reap every Monday and Friday,” he added.
Lav Heng said the additional departures are in response to Cambodia’s increasing tourism numbers.
“They see that now we’ve got more direct flights from other countries, especially Europe, so that people and tourists from here can easily fly to Myanmar,” said Lav Heng.
Kong Sophearak, deputy director of the Department of Statistics at Cambodia's Ministry of Tourism, said the number of tourists between the two ASEAN member states is still very low. However, he hopes that the resumption and increase of flights will be a good move to boost tourism.
“We’ve got the same culture, religion and the daily lives of people,” he said.
“Also, we are in the same region: that is the main point for promoting the tourism and economic relations in the near future.
“The direct flight will boost the flow of investment and trade with our two ASEAN nations as well.”
Aung Myat Kyaw, chairman of the Myanmar Marketing Committee, told The Mayanmar Times in March this year that the country stood to attract some of the millions of tourists who visit Angkor Wat near Siem Reap each year.
“I believe these flights will bring the Western market to Myanmar and Cambodia as one destination. And it will also bring another tourism product to the market, especially to the European market,” he said.
The number of tourists from Myanmar to Cambodia rose by about 12 per cent over the first eight months of the year compared with the same period last year.
However, its market share to Cambodia is very low at just 0.1pc compared to other ASEAN member states.