Cambodia, New Zealand Sign Aviation Accord

Cambodia on Wednesday signed a bilateral Air Services Agreement with New Zealand that will allow for commercial air travel between the two countries, officials said.

The agreement was drafted in Wellington in January last year and signed by Deputy Prime Minister Sok An and New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully at the Council of Ministers building in Phnom Penh on Wednesday.

Speaking during the signing ceremony, Mr. An said the agreement was the 24th such accord that Cambodia has signed, and called it “a step forward in enabling direct flights between Cambodia and New Zealand.”

Mr. McCully noted the obvious appeal of Cambodia’s heritage sites, adding “we, too, have tourism attractions.”

“We believe that the Air Services Agreement that we sign today will see our national carrier, Air New Zealand…have bigger access to your key airports,” he said. Contacted by telephone, Keo Sivorn, secretary of state at the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation, said it was too soon to predict the viability of direct flights between the two countries.

“We cannot estimate because this is all new and we haven’t seen any companies [from New Zealand] apply” to operate flights to Cambodia, he said.

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