Hopes for Cambodia tourism soar on new flights from Dubai

Traditional dancers greet passengers arriving on the inaugural flight

Tourism bosses are optimistic that Emirates’ inaugural daily services between Dubai and Phnom Penh via Yangon, which commenced on July 1, could bring new opportunities for Cambodia’s inbound and outbound tourism.

Cambodia’s secretary of state for Civil Aviation Mao Havanall commented that the new route “increases Cambodia’s connectivity with the world’s main hubs of Europe and the US and brings a wealth of opportunities”.

Traditional dancers greet passengers arriving on the inaugural flight

The new route offers more choices to passengers travelling between Phnom Penh to Dubai and beyond. Pierre-Andre Romano, general manager of Exo Travel Cambodia, expects the flight to lure more longhaul travellers from the Middle East, Africa and South America, specifically Brazil and Argentina.

Visitors from southern France can now fly directly from Nice to Dubai, instead of connecting in Paris, he added.

The service also opens opportunities to market the destination and its products, according to Emirates’ senior vice president of commercial operations for the Far East, Badr Abbas.

“Even in destinations where Cambodia is not popular, we will carry out a lot of marketing and actively sell this as a new destination,” said Abbas.

Socheata Ham, manager of Global Adventures, predicts the move will also contribute to Cambodia’s growing outbound market – which increased by 20 per cent in 2016 to 1.4 million – with France, the US and Canada likely to be popular choices.

Operated on a Boeing 777 aircraft, EK388 departs daily from Dubai International Airport at 09.15, arriving in Yangon at 17.25. It then departs Yangon at 18.55 to arrive at Phnom Penh International Airport at 21.25.

The return flight EK389 departs Phnom Penh at 23.10 and arrives in Yangon at 00.40. It will then set off to Dubai‎ at 02.10, arriving at 05.40.

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