Transport ministry outlines domestic flight resumption phases

By Anh Duy   September 25, 2021 | 04:00 am PT
Transport ministry outlines domestic flight resumption phases
A Vietnam Airlines plane at HCMC's Tan Son Nhat Airport. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
The Transport Ministry is planning to resume domestic flights and train services in certain localities with relaxed coronavirus restrictions starting October.

The resumption of domestic flights would be divided into four phases, according to a draft on the plan to resume transportation across localities with relaxed Covid-19 restrictions discussed Saturday.

In the first phase, to be carried out in no more than 10 days, airlines would be allowed to resume air routes with a flight frequency not exceeding half that in the first 10 days of April, the time before the fourth coronavirus wave hit Vietnam. Seats on the planes must be distanced as well.

In the second phase, also to be carried out in no more than 10 days, the frequency would be increased to not exceed 70 percent.

The third phase would see flight frequency return to the level as seen in the first week of April (but not exceeding it), with no seat distancing required.

The final phase would see airlines resume activities as normal.

Air routes that had only one flight a day even pre-pandemic can resume operations as normal in all phases, with seat distancing required.

Passengers and crew members must be vaccinated against Covid-19 with at least one shot at least 14 days prior to the flight, and must carry a valid negative test certificate.

The Ministry of Transport said further details about the resumption plan would be announced after the Ministry of Health releases guidelines on coronavirus prevention for people traveling between localities with relaxed restrictions.

Amid rampant Covid-19 outbreaks, the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam in late August requested airlines to stop selling tickets for domestic flights until further notice. Flights that carry goods and coronavirus forces are still functional, with the Hanoi-Ho Chi Minh City route allowed two return flights a day.

The country has still not allowed international flights to resume, except in certain cases.

The ministry is building a similar four-phase plan to resume train services between Hanoi and Hai Phong, Vinh, Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City.

All passenger train routes have been suspended amid the new Covid-19 outbreak.

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