PHNOM PENH, March 9 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia's national flag carrier Cambodia Angkor Air (CAA) commenced its direct flights between southwestern Cambodia's Preah Sihanouk province and China's Macao on Wednesday, local media reported Thursday, citing an airline official.
Macao becomes the flagship carrier's second international destination from Preah Sihanouk province and the eighth from Cambodia, after Bangkok, Da Nang, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Ho Chi Minh City and Shanghai Pudong.
The new route will operate two weekly flights on Wednesdays and Sundays.
CAA's marketing manager Eng Molina said that the airline added the route because of an increase in passengers wanting to travel between the destinations. He said the airline has a partner to sell tickets in Macao, which makes the route a good business opportunity.
He added the majority of passengers are expected to fly from Macao to Preah Sihanouk province rather than the opposite direction.
"There is high demand for seats from Macao to Preah Sihanouk province, so we will depend on customers from the Macao market," Molina was quoted as saying by the Khmer Times. "We are also studying the possibility of a route from Phnom Penh to Macao."
About 830,000 Chinese tourists visited Cambodia last year, representing a 19.5-percent rise year-on-year, according to a Tourism Ministry report.
The total number of international tourists to visit Cambodia was more than 5 million, the report said. Chinese people made up the second largest group of visitors to Cambodia, after Vietnamese.
Cambodia is hoping to attract 2 million Chinese tourists by 2020.