PHNOM PENH, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- A long-awaited direct flight between Cambodia and Indonesia is expected in the second half of this year after nearly half-a-century hiatus, Cambodian Tourism Minister Thong Khon said on Friday.
Khon met here on Thursday with Indonesian low-cost airline Citilink delegation led by Indonesian Ambassador to Cambodia Sudirman Haseng.
Khon told Xinhua that a direct flight between the two member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is crucial to boost bilateral tourism, trade, and investment.
"We welcome Citilink airline for its readiness to operate a direct flight to Cambodia," he said. "This will make our dream come true because we have waited for it for long time."
According to the minister, currently, travelers between Cambodia and Indonesia need to transit through Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, or Ho Chi Minh City.
"Among the 10-country ASEAN, there are only two countries - Indonesia and Brunei - that have not yet connected direct flights with Cambodia," Khon said.
Cambodian Tourism Ministry Secretary of State Tith Chantha said Cambodia and Indonesia had a direct flight between Phnom Penh and Jakarta before the 1970s, but due to Cambodia's civil war at that time, the direct flight has been suspended since then.
"We hope the direct flight will be launched in the second half of this year..." he said.
According to Chantha, some 55,753 Indonesian tourists visited Cambodia in 2018, up 11.8 percent from a year earlier.