China's Xiamen Airlines has launched direct flights between southeast China's Xiamen city and Cambodia's Phnom Penh capital city with the aim of further enhancing bilateral tourism and economic ties, officials said on Monday.
Mao Havanall, Cambodian secretary of state for civil aviation, said the airlines had used a Boeing 737-800 jet to operate four weekly flights between the two destinations and its first flight landed in Phnom Penh on Sunday.
"The launching of this new route will actively promote the cooperation policy between China and Cambodia and lay a solid foundation for the tourism industry in Cambodia to attract two million Chinese tourists by 2020," he said during an event celebrating the inaugural Xiamen-Phnom Penh flight.
Zheng Congming, general manager of passenger marketing and sales committee of Xiamen Airlines, said, "We hope that with the opening of this new route, more Chinese tourists will come to Cambodia, and at the same time, more Cambodian travelers will visit Xiamen, a scenic city of Fujian province."
China is the biggest source of tourists to Cambodia. According to tourism data, the Southeast Asian country attracted 1.21 million Chinese tourists in 2017, accounting for 21.6 percent of the total international tourists to the kingdom.