Chinese-invested int'l airport receives 1st direct flight with large plane from Australia

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PHNOM PENH, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) -- Chinese-invested Siem Reap Angkor International Airport (SAI) on Friday welcomed the first direct flight with a large plane from Australia, said Cambodia's aviation authority.

EuroAtlantic Airways' Boeing 777-200 flight, carrying 208 passengers from Sydney, landed at the SAI and was greeted by Mao Havannall, minister in charge of Cambodia's State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA), said an SSCA's press statement.

"This shows that the SAI is capable enough to accommodate long-distance direct flights from Australia and elsewhere," SSCA's undersecretary of state and spokesman Sinn Chanserey Vutha.

He expressed his hope that there will be more direct scheduled flights with large aircraft from Europe, the Middle East, India and the United States, among others, in the future.

Located in northwest Cambodia's Siem Reap province, the SAI was officially launched on Nov. 16.

With a 3,600-meter-long runway, the SAI is currently Cambodia's biggest airport and is the main gateway to the UNESCO-listed Angkor Archaeological Park, one of the country's most popular tourist attractions.

Invested by the Angkor International Airport Investment (Cambodia) Co., Ltd., an affiliate of China's Yunnan Investment Holdings Ltd., the 700-hectare 4E-level international airport will be able to handle 7 million air passengers per annum from 2024 and up to 12 million passengers annually from 2040, according to the SSCA. Enditem

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