The airline will be the first low-cost carrier to fly to the southern Cambodia resort town.
Speaking to the Phnom Penh Post on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum on ASEAN, AirAsia group CEO Tony Fernandessaid the service was in response to the Cambodian government’s request that the Malaysian low-cost carrier launch a service to Sihanoukville.
The town is the country’s main coastal resort with several beaches in and around the town as well as 17 casinos.
Using the popular A320 aircraft, AirAsia currently operates daily nonstop flights from Kuala Lumpur to Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, while its Thai subsidiary operates flights from Bangkok to the Cambodian capital.
Thai AirAsia was thought to be the front runner to launch the first international flight to Sihanoukville linking the emerging tourist destination to ASEAN neighbours
Bangkok Airways reportedly completed a study on the Bangkok-Sihanoukville route, but has not announced any plans to introduce a service this year.
New resorts are being developed off the coast of Sihanoukville and further east towards the border with Vietnam. They will desperately need a gateway airport close by if they are to attract business for their USD300 a night rooms from neighbouring beach resorts in Thailand and Vietnam that are better served by road and air links.