Qatar Airways touches down in Cambodia
Qatar Airways' inaugural flight to the Kingdom of Cambodia touched down in the capital Phnom Penh today to further extend the airline's reach in Asia Pacific.
Above: Qatar Airways flight QR602 is greeted by a water salute on arrival at Phnom Penh International Airport, making it the first carrier from the Middle East to begin flights to Cambodia's capital.
With the launch of daily scheduled services, Qatar Airways becomes the only Middle Eastern airline flying to the South East Asian nation – and destination number 125 served worldwide.
Flight QR602 arrived to a traditional water salute followed by a grand airport ceremony featuring colourful Cambodian dancers. The event was attended by a number of local dignitaries, including His Excellency, the secretary of state of the Kingdom of Cambodia Mr. Tekreth Samrach; His Excellency, the secretary of state of Civil Aviation Mr. Mao Havanall; and His Excellency, the under secretary of state from the Ministry of Tourism Mr. Pak Sokhom.
Guests gathered at Phonm Penh International Airport in celebration of the new air link, connecting Cambodia with scores of destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, North America and South America.
Qatar Airways chief executive officer Akbar Al Baker was joined on the inaugural flight direct from the carrier’s Doha hub by His Excellency Mr Long Kem, Ambassador, Royal Embassy of Cambodia to the State of Kuwait and responsible for Qatar, together with international media.
Al Baker said the latest route by the award-winning airline opened up a great new market for business and leisure travellers from around the world, while at the same time opening up air access from Cambodia to destinations worldwide.
“I take this opportunity to thank the Cambodian Government and local airport authorities for their great support in helping us launch daily flights to this wonderful country,” he said.
“Though Cambodia is one of the fastest growing economies in South East Asia, it has an air travel market that is highly underserved. Qatar Airways is here to fill this void and we look forward to working with the travel trade and our business partners to make this a hugely successful operation.
“We are sure Cambodian travellers will be highly impressed with Qatar Airways’ award-winning hospitality.
“Qatar Airways can seamlessly connect travellers from Cambodia via our Doha hub to diverse cities like Paris, London, Frankfurt, Zurich, Milan, Dubai, Cape Town, New York and Montreal.
“At the same time, with our new daily service between Doha and Phnom Penh, we offer travellers from around the world access to heritage tourist spots in Cambodia such as the world famous Angkor Wat temple in Siem Reap and the picturesque beach island resorts in Sihanoukville.”
The tourism industry, Cambodia’s second largest income source, received 3.6 million international tourists in 2012, a 24 per cent increase on the year before. Cambodia is also home to a new industry following the recent discovery of oil and minerals, offering huge potential for overseas investors.
Al Baker said that the latest route launch marked yet another significant milestone for the airline which is relentlessly expanding its global network.
“Qatar Airways is spreading its reach in Asia and we are proud to say that our commitment to this diverse continent will continue.
“In just a month’s time, we will be adding Chengdu in China, which will join our family of destinations in Asia, a continent which now represents around 30% of Qatar Airways’ global network.
“Another significant milestone for Qatar Airways this year will be the introduction of Chicago as our fourth US gateway adding to daily operations to New York, Washington and Houston.
“Qatar Airways currently operates dedicated flights to Paris and Montreal – both very important feeder markets for Cambodia, more so with the country having historic connections with the French. We look forward to welcoming passengers connecting Cambodia with these key markets.
“Greater air access to key markets will facilitate movements to and from Cambodia and will help further promote tourism, business and trade in the country.”
Qatar Airways’ Doha – Phnom Penh route is being operated with an Airbus A330 in a two-class configuration of up to 248 seats in Economy Class and up to 36 in Business. Flights operate via Ho Chi Minh City.