Skywings Asia Airlines completed its maiden voyage from Seoul to Sihanouk International Airport on Tuesday, marking the launch of seasonal direct charter flights between Sihanoukville and South Korea.
The new service, which will run from July through August, will connect the beach resort to the large South Korean tourism market. South Korean nationals made up 11.6 percent of total tourist arrivals to Cambodia in the first five months of the year.
“The first flights during this summer season are a way for us to test the market. We are considering having daily flights in the coming Winter season 2014-2015,” Mak Rady, CEO of Skywings Asia Airlines, said in a statement.
The government has long been attempting to transform Cambodia’s coast into a major international tourist destination, but has struggled with a lack of direct flights into Sihanoukville’s airport.
“The launch of Skywings Asia Airlines’ international charters from Seoul to Sihanoukville is a move in the right direction towards developing the Cambodian coastal city into a destination in its own right,” Patrine Tay, marketing and sales director for Cambodia Airports, said in the statement.
During the first six months of the year, passenger growth at Sihanouk International Airport increased 146 percent to 20,400 passengers, according to data from Cambodia Airports.