Select Asian flight routes may resume this August: transport ministry

By Doan Loan   July 15, 2020 | 03:00 pm GMT+7
Select Asian flight routes may resume this August: transport ministry
A Vietnam Airlines aircraft takes off at Noi Bai Airport in Hanoi, where construction for runway upgrade is going on, July 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy.

The Transport Ministry has proposed that commercial routes between Vietnam and some Asian destinations recommence in August, with all passengers to be quarantined on arrival.

In a proposal to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on Tuesday, the ministry suggested resuming flights to Guangzhou, Seoul, Tokyo, Taiwan, Vientiane and Phnom Penh, with the frequency of one trip per week from each side.

The Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam would cooperate with authorities in mainland China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Laos and Cambodia to reopen these routes as early as August, it said.

Around 2,500 to 3,000 foreign passengers are expected to enter Vietnam each week via these commercial flights besides Vietnamese returning home on repatriation flights organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Passengers on commercial flights need a valid visa and are required to be quarantined for 14 days upon arriving in Vietnam as a preventive measure.

Flights from Guangzhou are expected to land at Da Nang International Airport in central Vietnam and those from Tokyo and Seoul at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi.

Flights from Taiwan would touch down at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in HCMC, those from Laos at Van Don International Airport in the northern province of Quang Ninh and Cambodia at Can Tho International Airport in the Mekong Delta.

Explaining the arrangement, the ministry said with runways at Noi Bai and Tan Son Nhat closed for upgrade, the operating capacity at both airports has fallen to 60 and 70 percent each. Adding more flights could cause overload at the country’s two biggest airports, affecting service quality.

During the first stage, Vietnamese airlines will only operate one flight a week to the above-mentioned Asian destinations. After the Covid-19 pandemic is contained globally, the frequency of international flights would be increased, the ministry stated.

It has proposed the government assign the foreign ministry to facilitate licensing of Vietnam's flights and the defense ministry to provide quarantine facilities for passengers.

Since late March, Vietnam suspended all foreign arrivals and halted all international flights in an unprecedented move to stem the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

On Monday, a prime ministerial directive agreed to the resumption of commercial flights to and from China and ordered the reopening of commercial services to some Asian metropolises. Priority will be given to Vietnamese stranded overseas, foreign experts, specialists and students.

Vietnam has gone three months without community transmission caused by the novel coronavirus. The country of 96 million has reported only 373 infections and not a single Covid-19 death.

 
 
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