According to the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV), seven of nine countries and territories that the Authority has negotiated with have agreed to Vietnam’s proposal to resume scheduled flights.
|The first regular international flight from Phnom Penh (Cambodia) to Ho Chi Minh City landed at 6:45pm on January 1, 2022, after almost two years halting because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Photo: Vietnam Airlines.
These countries and territories are the United States, Japan, Singapore, Cambodia, Thailand, Taiwan (China), and South Korea.
Accordingly, Vietnam Airlines has relaunched scheduled flight to the US with a frequency of four flights/week; to Japan with a frequency of three flights/week; to Korea with two flights/week; to Taiwan (China) with one flight/week; to Singapore with two flights/week; to Thailand with two flights/week and to Cambodia with four flights/week.
However, while there are 21 flights/week from South Korea to Vietnam, in the opposite direction, Vietnam Airlines only operates two flights per week.
“Due to pandemic prevention regulations, South Korea is still restricting incoming passenger flights,” explained a Korean airline representative.
Currently, tickets for the above routes are widely on sale.
“The resumption of regular international flights will meet the high repatriation demand of overseas Vietnamese. People have to wait for almost two years to return home as all flights were halted because of the Covid-19 pandemic,” a local aviation representative said.
Vietnam Airlines said that air connections with Australia will be resumed soon and the two sides are engaging in negotiations on the subject.
“The reopening of international routes with Australia will help the repatriation of overseas Vietnamese for Tet holidays,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the firm is set to reopen air routes connecting the country with the UK, France, Germany, Russia, Australia, Hong Kong (China), and Malaysia in the coming time.
|International travelers to Hoi An ancient town before the Covid-19 pandemic. Photo: Hoi An Travel
“We have resumed flights from Vietnam to Japan with a frequency of one flight per week and plan to increase the frequency in the near future,” said Vietjet Air Managing Director Dinh Viet Phuong. Earlier, the first regular international flight from Vietnam to Japan was operated on January 6 by Vietjet Air and All Nippon Airways
In addition, as Vietnam air carriers expressed concern about cumbersome safety procedures for boarding to prevent the pandemic outbreak, the Ministry of Transport has asked local governments to allow passengers, who return a negative RT-PCR test, to board the plane, instead of stipulating that passengers need to test for coronavirus right before boarding and immediately after landing.
Telling an online discussion last month, Chairman of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism Nguyen Trung Khanh said the Covid-19 pandemic had caused an extremely negative impact on every aspect of human life during the past two years that tourism and aviation are among the first to be hit hard.
“If the country lags behind in the resumption of international flights, it will lose chances for not only attracting tourists but also recovering other sectors,” he stressed.
According to Khanh, these two sectors are still forecast to continue facing numerous difficulties in the time ahead.