Cambodia airports enjoy growth

PHNOM PENH, 26 February 2018: Cambodia’s three gateway airports, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville handled close to 8.8 million passengers in 2017, up 23.7% on 2016 data.

Managed by Vinci Airports, under a 45-year lease agreement that is due to expire in 2040, the three airports have undergone terminal expansion, the latest being Sihanoukville where passenger capacity increased from 150,000 to 500,000 a year.

Passenger traffic at Phnom Penh and Siem Reap reached 4.2 million in 2017 for each airport according to Vinci’s performance summary.  Sihanoukville closed the year with 338,000 passengers.

In the past, Cambodia Airports released monthly updates on passenger traffic and aircraft movement data, but has failed to do so since January 2017. It’s news section on its website has not been updated since then.

However, Vinci Airports provides bare-bone summaries on its international website for the three airports for the entire year.

Vinci Airports holds a 70% stake in the three airports with Muhibbah Masteron Cambodia holding the remaining 30%.

The group said the Phnom Penh airport was served by 25 airlines in 2017 flying to 19 destinations.  Passenger traffic reached 4.2 million in the year, up 25.1%.  There were 33,435 aircraft movements at Phnom Penh airport.

Vinci added that it invested USD100 million extending the capacity of the Phnom Penh terminal to 10 million passengers annually, although it would be difficult to reach that capacity as long as the airport is limited to a single runway.

It is very unlikely that Vinci will see the airport operating through to the end of the 45-year lease agreement due to expire in 2040.  A new airport will be built by the Chinese on a 2,400 hectare site 30 km from the city centre. The Vinci run airport is on a much smaller 400 hectare site with little room to expand further and it unlikely that the country could justify two airports near the capital city.

Siem Reap airport’s passenger traffic stood at 4.2 million during 2017, up 21%, while aircraft movements reached 37,698, up by a marginal 1%. Flights depart to 24 destinations with 26 airlines serving the airport.

Traditionally, passenger traffic tends to be pretty evenly split between the capital Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.

Sihanoukville airport is served by just four airlines (AirAsia, Cambodia Angkor Air, JC Airlines and Sky Angkor) Air with flights to five destinations.

Aircraft movements reached 2,627 last year and passenger traffic reached 338,000, up 115%.

Most of the growth at the three airport is attributed to traffic from China.