July 20, 2011

Cambodia Airports records strong traffic growth

[Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation]

Cambodia Airports has been experiencing strong traffic growth in 2011 as traffic at Siem Reap recovers to 2007 levels. The recently rebranded airport operator, which is owned primarily by French firm Vinci, expects continued growth at Siem Reap and Phnom Penh while it continues to work on attracting a carrier to its third airport at Sihanoukville.

Cambodia Airports handled 1.808 million passengers in 1H2011, including 912,000 passengers at Phnom Penh and 896,000 passengers at Siem Reap. Phnom Penh ended 2010 with 1.7 million passengers while Siem Reap handled 1.5 million passengers last year.

Cambodia Airports secretary general Phillippe Laurent told last week’s Airport Leaders Forum in Singapore that traffic at Siem Reap has been growing at a 22% clip so far this year. After a difficult 2008 and 2009, when traffic at Siem Reap shrunk sharply, “we’re returning to normal,” Mr Laurent said. Traffic at Siem Reap is now projected to slightly surpass the previous peak of 1.7 million passengers reached in 2007.

The global economic downturn had an impact on Siem Reap traffic in 2008 and 2009 as fewer tourists travelled to see Angkor Wat and the surrounding temples. Traffic at the capital Phnom Penh, which is more a business destination compared with Siem Reap, shrunk only slightly during the economic downturn of 2007 and 2008. The 1.7 million passengers recorded at Phnom Penh last year was an all-time record and this figure should be surpassed this year, driven in part by new service from Air France.
Annual passenger traffic for Cambodia Airports, 1998 to 2011


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