Resume domestic flights, aviation authority urges

By Doan Loan   September 13, 2021 | 12:01 am PT
Resume domestic flights, aviation authority urges
A Vietnam Airlines plane at the Tan Son Nhat Airport in HCMC. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) on Monday proposed it would resume domestic flights in three phases, depending on pandemic progress.

In the first phase, airlines would be allowed to resume air routes with a flight frequency not exceeding half that in the first week of April, the time before the fourth coronavirus wave hit Vietnam.

In the second phase, the frequency would be increased to not exceed 70 percent, while the final phase would see flight frequency return to the level as seen in the first week of April (but not exceeding it).

Airlines would be able to resume flights as they wish after all localities lift social distancing orders as dictated by Directive 16, the CAAV proposed.

For air routes that had only one flight a day even pre-pandemic, they can resume operations as normal.

Passengers on domestic flights must test negative for the coronavirus within 72 hours before flying. Certain requirements would also be applied in three phases.

In the first phase, to be trialed for two weeks, allowed passengers would include those on official missions, those fighting the pandemic, those carrying approved papers by local authorities for travel, those with certificates to prove they have completed their quarantine periods, and those with documents to prove they have either been fully vaccinated or recovered from Covid-19 for up to 12 months prior to the flight.

The second phase would also last two weeks and add more categories like people who have confirmed their stay in areas not under social distancing orders as dictated by Directive 16 for up to 12 months before the flight.

The third phase would see no restrictions regarding the types of passengers allowed to fly. However, the CAAV would ban any passenger found forging papers to board a plane.

To execute the proposal, the CAAV has allowed airlines to devise flight schedules, selling tickets and other measures, while preparing to adapt to any changes should the pandemic evolve. Airports must also cooperate with local Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to monitor coronavirus control measures, the CAAV added.

The proposal has been sent to the Ministry of Transport, and once approved, would be applied immediately.

Amid rampant Covid-19 outbreaks, Vietnam has still not allowed international flights to resume, except in certain cases. Flights that carry goods and coronavirus forces are still functional, with the Hanoi-Ho Chi Minh City route allowed two back-and-forth flights a day.

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