Air cargo fares better than tourism, but still down 20%
Cambodia’s air cargo volume totaled 38,783 tonnes in the first eight months of 2022, down 10.77% year-on-year and down one-fifth over the same period in 2019 before the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic, the aviation regulator reported.
The drop is largely blamed on prolonged Covid-19 disruptions that prevented some countries from fully lifting restrictions, rising oil prices linked to Russia’s military offensive in Ukraine and an escalation of political tensions around Taiwan, Logistics and Supply Chain Business Association in Cambodia (Loscba) President Chea Chandara told the Post on September 18.
Despite this, production systems across sectors nationwide have generally operated smoothly in 2022, without the Covid-related shocks and temporary factory closures that prevailed at the height of the crisis. pandemic, he said, adding that Cambodian products are ready to be made on time or ahead of schedule.
“[In general,] when goods are ordered and produced late, companies will opt for air shipment to meet the deadline, but as the production in Cambodia is running smoothly and ready, ahead of schedule, most items are shipped by land or river due to reduced costs,” he said.
Chandara said the average airfreight rate per kilogram had fallen to around $5, from a Covid-19-era peak of $9 to $10.
Cambodia Logistics Association (CLA) President Sin Chanthy said the drop in air cargo volumes reported by the State Secretariat for Civil Aviation (SSCA) was not too significant, and expressed his optimism that the figure would increase “from now on” with more flights. are added.
Chanthy said she recently met with SSCA and airports in Cambodia, where representatives also predicted a rise.
Cambodia Airports is the long-time owner and manager of the Kingdom’s three international airports – Phnom Penh, Sihanouk and Siem Reap International Airports.
From 2023, the SSCA plans to resume suspended flights to more Chinese provinces and other destinations, as well as launch new routes from South Asia, the Middle East and the EU.
Speaking at a September 16 press conference on the regulator’s achievements over the past five years, SSCA spokesman Sin Chansereyvutha said there had been “incremental positive signs”. in the airport’s passenger and cargo volumes, and revealed that the latter is expected to reach 400,000 tonnes per year by 2030.
At a meeting on Aug. 30, a FedEx representative told senior officials from the trade and transportation departments that the U.S. cargo giant planned to launch direct flights to Cambodia from October.