SENIOR officials were on hand to welcome passengers flying from Phnom Penh to Koh Samui on Cambodia Airways inaugural flight KR 723 today (May 20) with this leading to two non-stop weekly flights on this route henceforth, Naewna newspaper said.
Surat Thani Governor Mr. Witchawut Jinto and Koh Samui District Chief Mr. Chayaphon Ontornsupha accompanied by other senior officials greeted the 56 passengers after they disembarked with most of them being Cambodian and Chinese nationals.
The airline’s Airbus A319 was given the customary water salute upon touching down.
Statistics from 2019 before coronavirus pandemic swept the world show altogether 925,437 came to Thailand from Cambodia that year. The most popular destination was Bangkok, 80%, followed by Chonburi, 2%. The majority, 56%, had crossed over through border checkpoints while 36% flew in and 8% came by sea.
Their average daily expense was 5,743 baht, generating approximately 39,277 million baht in revenue for Thailand. These tourists liked purchasing clothes and eating Thai food.
It is expected that the launch of the direct flights from Phnom Penh will stimulate the economy of Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao while also strengthening the friendship between the two countries who are both Asean members.
It was noticed that some of the tourists had brought their golfing kits along with one of them saying he was really happy to get to travel to Koh Samui on this inaugural flight and also pleased to be welcomed with a beautiful orchid garland and given souvenirs.
Cambodian Airways inaugural Phnom Penh to Koh Samui flight reaching the island and the passengers being warmly welcomed. Photos: Naewna