Cambodia’s three international airports recorded a 15.5% year-over-year (YOY) increase in passenger numbers for the first half of 2019.

According to France’s Vinci Airports, which holds a 70% stake in operator Cambodia Airports, 6 million passengers passed through the airport gates in the first six months.

The fastest growth comes from its smallest airport in Sihanoukville, which handled 755,000 passengers, or up 210.9% YOY. The second quarter accounted for more than half of its six-month traffic figures, with 435,000 passengers, a YOY improvement of 314.3%.

Aircraft movements during 1H rose 128.8% YOY to 7,656 movements. The capital’s Phnom Penh airport recorded 3 million passengers and a YOY improvement of 15.5%.

Siem Reap, popular for its Angkor Wat heritage site, slid down 4.8% YOY to 2.2 million passengers. Aircraft movements dropped 6.6% YOY to 21,497 takeoffs and landings.

Cambodia Airports said the beach resort of Sihanoukville is gaining popularity, especially among Chinese travelers, and there may have been a shift of traffic from Siem Reap to benefit Sihanoukville.

In the second quarter, Dubai-based Emirates Airline launched a new daily service from Dubai to Phnom Penh, and Garuda Indonesia’s Citilink LCC subsidiary began direct flights between Phnom Penh and Jakarta.

Bangkok Airways will also launch flights between Bangkok and Sihanoukville from January 2020.

Cambodia is now linked to all countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) except East Timor and Brunei.

Chen Chuanren,