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PHNOM PENH - Air China has started to operate direct flights between China's Beijing and Cambodia's Siem Reap province, aiming at further promoting tourism and economic ties.
Its first flight landed at the Siem Reap International Airport at Sunday night with 115 passengers onboard.
Northwestern Siem Reap province is renowned for the Angkor Wat Temple, a World Heritage Site.
Liu Jia, chief executive officer of Air China to Cambodia, said the Air China used a Boeing 737-800 jet to operate the new route on Wednesdays and Sundays, and starting from January, the airline will add flights on Mondays and Fridays.
"It is a new chapter of cooperation between Cambodia and China on air transport service," he told reporters at the airport upon the plane's arrival. "Through the flight, it will bring closer contact between Beijing and Cambodia."
Ang Kim Eang, president of the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents, which represents 220 tour and travel operators, welcomed Air China's operations to Siem Reap province, saying that it would further promote tourism and economy.
"It will facilitate the peoples of the countries to travel to and fro," he told Xinhua on Monday. "I believe that more Chinese tourists and business people will come to Cambodia through Air China."
Cambodia greeted 339,890 Chinese tourists in the first nine months of this year, up 45 percent year-on-year, making China the second largest source of tourists to Cambodia.