Dubai-based premium airline Emirates will soon be the first to offer direct daily flights between Phnom Penh and Rangoon, joining a growing list of new carriers and routes available in Cambodia this year.
Emirates announced on Tuesday that the service, their first between Dubai, the most populous city in the United Arab Emirates, and Phnom Penh, will begin on July 1, when it will also start a nonstop service between Dubai and Hanoi.
The airline said its outbound flight, EK388, will depart from Dubai at 9:15 a.m, stop in Rangoon at 5:25 p.m. for 90 minutes, and land at Phnom Penh International Airport at 9:25 p.m. The returning flight, EK389, on a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, will leave Phnom Penh at 11:10 p.m. and arrive in Dubai at 5:40 a.m., with a brief stop in Rangoon.
Current flights between Phnom Penh and Rangoon require a stopover, most typically in Bangkok. Previous flights to Dubai had to be made using other carriers for part of the trip.
Emirates looks to be seeking to cash in on a predicted rise in the number of tourists visiting Cambodia.
“There were more than 4.7 million foreign tourist arrivals to Cambodia in 2015 and this is forecast to rise to 8 million by 2020,” said the airline’s statement.
Mohammad Sarhan, Emirates manager for Thailand, Burma and Cambodia, said market research had shown a need for the new service.
“Emirates begins new routes where we know there is a demand for our services,” he said in an email. “We are confident that the route will meet our expectations.”
Mr. Sarhan said the service would help connect flyers in Cambodia to other popular destinations, including 38 cities in Europe and 15 in the Americas.
The company’s announcement follows the completion of new international terminals at both Phnom Penh and Siem Reap airports in March, built at a combined cost of $100 million.
Emirates joins four local and 32 international airlines offering flights from the country’s airports, with five other airlines looking to begin offering domestic and international flights in Cambodia over the next two years.
The first direct flight between Cambodia and Japan took off in September, with All Nippon Airways offering the service three times a week.