Flights to Philippines diverted to Vietnamese airports due to air traffic issues

By Phan Anh   January 3, 2023 | 12:23 am PT
Flights to Philippines diverted to Vietnamese airports due to air traffic issues
A foreign passenger wearing a face mask as a protection against the coronavirus disease arrives at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines, February 10, 2022. Photo by Reuters/Lisa Marie David
Hundreds of flights en-route to the Philippines had to be diverted to other airports on New Year's Day due to air traffic issues, with several flights being diverted to Vietnamese airports.

Dinh Viet Thang, director of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV), said that on Sunday night, the Philippines' air traffic control system experienced malfunction, and so the Southern Region Air Traffic Services recommended that all flights heading to the Philippines that were still within Vietnam’s Flight Information Region (FIR) turn back and land at Vietnamese airports instead.

Thang said that three flights from international airlines landed at Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Son Nhat International Airport on Sunday while waiting to continue to the Philippines.

At 8:15 a.m. on Monday, the Area Control Center (ACC) of HCMC received info from ACC Manila informing them that air operations in the Philippines had returned to normal, Tuoi Tre newspaper reported, citing Thang.

Data from CAAV revealed that issues in the Philippines had affected 72 flights flying through Vietnam’s FIR, with some requesting permission to land at certain Vietnamese airports, including the Tan Son Nhat International Airport, Da Nang International Airport and Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport.

Reuters on Sunday reported that Philippine authorities had to halt flights going in and out of Manila on New Year’s Day due to a malfunction of the air traffic control system. Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista blamed the incident on a power outage.

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