Laos and Cambodia on Monday signed a document agreeing on the need to increase flights between them to meet the growing demand for air transport.
The head of the air transport division in the Department of Civil Aviation, Viengsay Singkham, yesterday said the minute of a meeting between aviation officials from the two countries was signed in Cambodia following the meeting.
The document aims to amend the Aviation Cooperation Agreement between Laos and Cambodia to help regional airlines increase flights between both countries in a bid to promote tourism and economic development.
Officials from both sides will submit the outcomes of the meeting to their higher authorities and proceed with the next steps to amend the agreement.
The director for Air Transport at Cambodia’s State Secretariat of Civil Aviation, Vann Chanty, said that the move will push airlines in both countries to operate more flights between Cambodia and Laos due to increasing demand from tourists.
“We need to update the agreement to comply with reality and the demands of the market,” Chanty was quoted as saying.
There are three airlines offering flights between Laos and Cambodia: Cambodia Angkor Air, Lao Airlines and Vietnam Airlines; they operate 21 flights a week.
Chanty said the passenger load between the two countries increased by 5 per cent last year to 178,000 and he believed the figure would hit 200,000 in the next two years.
Director-general of the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation, Keo Sivorn, said the new agreement would make it easier for airlines to have direct flights between Cambodia and Laos and would open up new routes, such as from Phnom Penh and Preah Sihanouk to Vientiane or Luang Prabang.
Lao and Cambodian officials say that increasing transport connectivity will boost tourism growth in both countries .