SWA are reporting that Indonesia AirAsia is expanding its connectivity in the ASEAN region by opening a direct flight route from Jakarta to Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, starting April 19, 2023. Tickets have been on sale since March 22 and received an interesting response from enthusiastic tourists from both countries.
This route is currently the only post-pandemic Indonesia-Cambodia direct flight, and marks Indonesia AirAsia’s commitment to supporting the cooperation of the Indonesian and Cambodian governments in accelerating the recovery of the tourism sector in both countries, say SWA.
Veranita Yosephine, Main Director of Indonesia AirAsia said, “In early 2022, the Governments of Indonesia and Cambodia signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for Tourism Cooperation , the two countries agreed to increase cooperation in the tourism sector. The opening of the Jakarta-Phnom Penh route is clear evidence of Indonesia AirAsia’s strong support for the aspirations of the two countries to accelerate the recovery of their tourism industry as part of the national economic recovery, with a focus on connectivity cooperation.”
With its rich history and religion including many beautiful temples scattered throughout the country, coupled with a strong Buddhist feel, Cambodia has become one of the top destinations in ASEAN and internationally. This flight connectivity also comes at the perfect time as Cambodia prepares to host the 2023 Cambodian SEA Games on 5-17 May 2023, report SWA.
“This route also supports the SEA Games Cambodia 2023 by providing direct flights that are affordable for sports lovers in Indonesia who want to watch matches at the event in person.” added Veranita as quoted in an official statement, Thursday (13/04/2023).
The inauguration ceremony for the Jakarta-Phnom Penh flight was held at the Indonesian Embassy (KBRI) office in Phnom Penh. Representing the Ministry of Transportation of the Republic of Indonesia, Directorate of Civil Aviation Putu Eka Cahyadi said, “We are confident that this new route will have a positive impact on national economic recovery in general, after the COVID-19 pandemic. It is also hoped that the opening of this route will support connectivity between the two countries, also promote tourism destinations in Indonesia and Cambodia.”
Meanwhile, the Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy of the Republic of Indonesia Sandiaga Uno delivered his remarks via video and said, “I appreciate AirAsia for the initiative to open a direct route from Jakarta to Phnom Penh, and thank the Indonesian Embassy for Cambodia in Phnom Penh for accommodating this event. I hope that more visitors will come to the wonderful Indonesia.”
Secretary of State, Ministry of Tourism of the Kingdom of Cambodia HE Thong Ratasak also expressed his support for the opening of the Jakarta-Phnom Penh route and said, “We welcome Indonesia AirAsia for the opening of direct flights for the Jakarta-Phnom Penh route and vice versa as part of the successful implementation of the MoU on Tourism Cooperation between our two countries .”
“During the first 2 months of 2023, we have received more than 837,000 foreign tourists and Indonesian tourists approaching 20,000. We estimate to receive around 4.5-million international tourists in 2023 with more than 150,000 Indonesians. This is in line with the government’s initiative to promote the Visit Cambodia Year 2023 campaign with the theme “Everyday Is A Wonder” with a focus on MICE and Sports. Cambodia is also ready to host the 32nd SEA Games on 5-17 May and the 12th ASEAN Para Games on 3-9 June 2023,” he said.
SWA report that HE Chea Aun, State Secretariat for Civil Aviation of the Kingdom of Cambodia said, “The Government of the Kingdom of Cambodia has established a policy to open flights (open sky) in order to attract more direct flights to and from the Kingdom of Cambodia, to facilitate international tourists to visit the Kingdom of Cambodia, as well as to contribute on the creation of more jobs for Cambodians and the growth of the national economy.
According to HE Chea Aun, with the launch of regular direct flights between Jakarta, Indonesia and Phnom Penh, Cambodia, this will play an important role in the implementation of the Royal Cambodian Government’s Open Sky Policy . In addition, this scheduled direct flight from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, Indonesia and Phnom Penh International Airport, Cambodia (CGK-PNH) will also encourage closer relations in the fields of trade, culture and people-to-people exchanges between the two countries.
Lauti Nia Astri, Chargé d’Affaires Ad Interim at the Indonesian Embassy in Phnom Penh said direct flights would shorten distances, making economic, trade and tourist relations between Indonesia and Cambodia more intense. We hope that this direct flight can increase the interest of the Cambodian people to travel to Indonesia, especially outside Bali, because Indonesia has a variety of tourist destinations.”
It should be noted that the new route will be served by A320 aircraft with a capacity of 180-passengers. Flight duration is approximately three hours with four weekly frequencies flying from Jakarta to Phnom Penh every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday; and from Phnom Penh to Jakarta every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, with fares starting at USD 80.