Cambodia and Laos have signed an accord to encourage regional airlines to increase services on routes between the two countries in a move to boost tourism. Currently, connectivity between tourist destinations in the two countries is poor, forcing travellers to make expensive backtracks to gateway cities and adding to travel costs.
Now a trip from Luang Prabang to Sihanoukville, the gateway to Cambodia’s beach resorts, could easily take up to 12 hours by plane or even require, three flights and an overnight stop in Bangkok, but the new deal will lead to more convenient and cheaper flight options between the two countries.
Currently, there are three airlines offering flights between Cambodia and Laos, Cambodia Angkor Air, Lao Airlines and Vietnam Airlines that offer about 21 flights per week with few direct flights. There is potential to increase to 30 flights each week. Passenger traffic between the two countries increased by 5% last year, to 178,000 passengers, and could reach 200,000 in the next two years.