Cambodia Reallows Direct Flights With Three Asean Countries

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People in the lobby area of the Phnom Penh International Airport on March 11, 2020 (VOD)
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Direct flights from Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines are allowed again, the Health Ministry announced over the weekend, though it is still unclear when flights will resume.

In a statement on Saturday, the Health Ministry said it was immediately reallowing direct flights from the three countries as part of reopening the economy to a “new normal.”

The move follows Prime Minister Hun Sen on Friday ordering that arrivals from Thailand, including foreign passengers, be allowed to enter Cambodia without quarantine. Thailand has announced quarantine-free arrivals for air passengers from 46 countries, including Cambodia, starting November 1.

Cambodia Airports communications director Khek Norinda said it was still too soon to say when airlines would restart direct flights from Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.

“There’s no standard. They’ll assess the situation, look into the market. It could be very fast or take some time,” Norinda said.

The country is currently receiving regular scheduled flights from South Korea, Singapore and Taipei, with chartered and other flights from Hong Kong and some Chinese cities.

Cambodia’s airports were already ready for the resumption of more flights, and health and other measures were in place, Norinda said.

“The airport has always been open since the start of the pandemic. We’re ready to welcome flights.”

AirAsia said on Monday that it was in the process of gradually resuming services in all key markets as travel restrictions continue to ease and international borders look set to reopen.

“Cambodia is a popular market for AirAsia and we look forward to returning in the near future,” the company said.

Hun Sen has spoken of preparing for the full reopening of the country, which he expects to begin by the end of this year amid high vaccination rates. A reopening would be a boon for the struggling tourism sector.

A seven-day quarantine remains in place for most vaccinated arrivals.

Additional reporting by Michael Dickison

Updated at 5:15 p.m. with comment from AirAsia.

(Translated and edited from the original article on VOD Khmer)

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