Carriers increase int'l flights after Vietnam reopens tourism

By Doan Loan   March 16, 2022 | 11:11 pm PT
Carriers increase int'l flights after Vietnam reopens tourism
A Vietnam Airlines aircraft takes off at Tan Son Nhat Airport, HCMC, January 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
Domestic carriers plan to expand international services later this month after the government fully reopened its border with relaxed tourism policies.

Vietnam Airlines said it would resume its regular service from Singapore to Da Nang with three weekly flights from late this month and one weekly flight from tourist beach towns Phu Quoc, Nha Trang to Singapore each from April 15.

Currently, the national flag carrier operates 10 weekly flights from Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi to Singapore and will increase its frequency to 21 a week from March 27.

In early July, the carrier will resume its service to China with six flights a week and Indonesia with three weekly flights.

It also plans to reopen commercial flights connecting Da Nang, Nha Trang to Japan and South Korea, Vietnam's major tourism markets, from July.

From January, Vietnam Airlines resumed commercial flights to many Asian destinations, the U.S. and Europe.

From Feb. 15, the carrier also resumed flights to Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur.

Bamboo Airways this month launched new routes from Hanoi, HCMC to Melbourne and Hanoi to Frankfurt with one to two flights a week.

It plans to operate its Hanoi-London route from March 22, HCMC-Sydney from March 29 with two weekly flights.

In Northeast Asia, Bamboo Airways also increased its frequency to two weekly flights on each of the Hanoi-Tokyo, Hanoi-Taipei and Hanoi-Incheon routes.

The carrier has begun selling air tickets for the HCMC-Bangkok route scheduled from April 28 and HCMC-Singapore route that will take off a day later, with each having two weekly flights.

A Vietjet Air representative said the low-cost airline would increase the frequency of routes connecting Hanoi, HCMC to Bangkok, Tokyo, Singapore and Seoul.

In the best case scenario, Vietnam's aviation industry would transport 42-43 million passengers in 2022, or around 50 percent of pre-pandemic numbers, Bui Minh Dang, deputy head of the air transportation department at the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam, said.

Vietnam fully reopened its inbound tourism on Tuesday after nearly two years of closure and resumed its visa exemption policy for 13 countries, including Japan, South Korea and European countries.

The Ministry of Health said Wednesday foreigners entering Vietnam only need to furnish a negative Covid-19 test certificate and are not required to quarantine.

The test can be done using the RT-PCR method within 72 hours before departure or the rapid antigen process within 24 hours.

Those who cannot take a test before arrival have to be tested within 24 hours after entering and can leave their accommodation if not infected.

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