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Capital’s airport records 28% cargo rise

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Workers transport a shipment at Phnom Penh International Airport in 2019. Hong Menea

Capital’s airport records 28% cargo rise

Phnom Penh International Airport handled 55,000 tonnes of air freight in 2021, surging by about 28 per cent from a year earlier, according to a State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) report.

SSCA spokesman Sin Chansereyvutha told The Post on February 9 that the air freight business has returned to health, “owing to the rise in the cost of transporting goods by water or land, with prices almost the same as air freight”.

With shorter delivery times “investors are turning to air transport, especially for expensive items”, he said.

He noted that the capital’s airport has a cargo warehouse and accounts for the majority of air freight handled in the Kingdom, with Sihanouk International Airport making up the rest.

He also confirmed that a similar warehouse was planned for Preah Sihanouk province’s airport – located some 20km east of Sihanoukville in Thma Thom village, Ream commune, Prey Nop district.

Cambodia Logistics Association (CLA) president Sin Chanthy said air transport had dropped by more than 90 per cent in 2020, when Covid-19 stuck.

However, air transport gradually resumed from mid-2021, driven by the Covid-19 vaccine rollout and reopening of the country, with the numbers of cargo flights notably taking off during the peak season when the pressure was on to move goods quickly, he said.

“This growth has climbed from end-2021 – as of the beginning of 2022 – and the trend will persist, albeit at a relatively sluggish pace, marking a positive for the sector.

“Once the domestic coronavirus spread is brought under control, not only will transport by air – currently showing positive signals – chug along smoothly and at a faster pace, the same will apply to land and waterway routes,” Chanthy said.

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