Air China will begin direct flights from Beijing to Cambodia’s Phnom Penh, with 3X-weekly Airbus A320 service, from Jan. 7, 2019, marking the first time both capital cities are connected.

Initial plans to begin the route in November 2018 were delayed because of “market reasons.” Air China also shelved a service to Siem Reap, Cambodia, in 2017 after a year, citing weak demand.

Cambodia has seen significant investments from China in recent years under the One Belt One Road Initiative, and received about 1.2 million Chinese tourists in 2017, about 21% of the country’s total arrivals. 

Numerous airline startups in Cambodia are also backed by Chinese funding, such as KC International Airlines and JC International. 

Chen Chuanren,