Thong Rathasak (second left), Veranita Yosephine (third left), Lauti Nia Astri (centre), Chea Aun (third right) and Stephen King, Chief Commercial Officer of Cambodia Airports (second right) pose for a photograph during the event. KT/Pierre Roussel
Air Asia Indonesia yesterday announced that it will start the Jakarta-Phnom Penh direct flights from April 19.
The long-awaited direct flight will operate as scheduled services for passengers four days per week, using the Airbus A320 aircraft.
“It is important for both Cambodia and Indonesia, especially to improve connectivity and strengthen business-to-business as well as people-to-people contact,” top officials announced during the official ceremony at the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Phnom Penh yesterday.
The direct flight is also part of the implementation of the memorandum of understanding on tourism cooperation between the Cambodian and Indonesian governments.
While talking at the function, Thong Rathasak, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Tourism, said: “This year also marks the 64th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between our two nations. I would like to congratulate Air Asia Indonesia for the establishment of direct flights between Jakarta-Phnom Penh-Jakarta as part of the fruitful implementation of the MoU on tourism cooperation between our two countries.”
Rathasak also re-invited other Indonesian air carriers such as Citilink and Garuda Airlines to reconnect with the Kingdom’s key tourism destinations.
Chea Aun, Permanent Secretary of State of State Secretariat of Civil Aviation, and High Representative of Mao Havanall, Minister In Charge of State Secretariat of Civil Aviation, said: “Today’s event is also a remarkable milestone showcasing that the Bilateral Air Transport Service Agreement between Cambodia and Indonesia signed on 10 February 1969, and the Memorandum of Understanding signed on 20 September 2006 and integration of ASEAN liberal air transport arrangements, have been proudly implemented.”
Expressing hope that the new flight would enhance trade ties between both countries, Aun said: “I firmly believe that the launch of regular direct flights between Jarkata, Indonesia and Phnom Penh, Cambodia, will play an important role in responding to the implementation of the Open Sky Policy of the Royal Government of Cambodia as well. Moreover, this scheduled direct flight from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, Indonesia, and Phnom Penh International Airport, Cambodia, will also promote closer ties on trade, culture and people-to-people exchanges between our two countries.”
Talking about the significance of the direct flights, Lauti Nia Astri, Charges d’affaires ad interim, Indonesian Embassy, said: “Direct flights will shorten the distance, make the economy, trade ties and tourist trips between Indonesia and Cambodia expected to be more intense. Data from the Indonesian Statistics Agency states that in January-February 2023, there were 1,588 Cambodian visitors to Indonesia, while in 2022, there were 4,604 Cambodian visitors to Indonesia.
Indonesian visitors to Cambodia were 75,653 in 2022. We hope that this direct flight will increase the interest of the Cambodian people to travel to Indonesia, especially tours beyond Bali, because Indonesia has a variety of tourist destinations.” Budi Karya Sumadi, Indonesian Minister of Transportation; and Sandiaga Uno, Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy also extended their greetings via video messages.
Air Asia Indonesia CEO Veranita Yosephine also talked during the function.