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Carriers urge quick resumption of int'l flights with quarantine exemption

By Doan Loan   December 5, 2021 | 11:35 pm PT
Carriers urge quick resumption of int'l flights with quarantine exemption
A Vietnam Airlines aircraft parks at Noi Bai Airport, Hanoi, October 5 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy
Vietnamese carriers proposed the government soon resume international flights and exempt mandatory quarantine for fully vaccinated passengers to save the aviation industry from a prolonged crisis.

On Monday, Dang Ngoc Hoa, chairman of Vietnam Airlines, said the national flag carrier has petitioned the government to soon reopen international flights to countries and territories with high vaccination rates and good pandemic control.

If Vietnam is slow in reopening international flights, the country would lose its advantage to attract not only foreign tourists, but also investors, Hoa said.

"Airlines and tourism businesses are in deep financial crisis, which can lead to bankruptcy and inability to compete regionally," he added.

Nguyen Thanh Son, deputy general director of Vietjet Air, also urged the government to resume international flights, especially with countries that boast high vaccination rates against Covid-19.

Many countries have reopened their borders and relaxed quarantine policies to attract international tourists and meet growing travel demand after the pandemic, Son said.

Vo Huy Cuong, deputy head of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam, said it only proposed the government suspend all flights from 10 African countries in light of the new Omicron emergency while flights to and from other areas would commence as usual.

"The aviation industry is ready to immediately resume international flights after completing negotiations with countries and territories," Cuong added.

The Ministry of Transport stated all airlines wanted the government to quickly resume regular international flights and relax mandatory quarantine for fully vaccinated international passengers.

Under a three-phase roadmap on flight resumption submitted by the ministry, it had recommended commercial flights to 12 countries and territories with good pandemic control records and high vaccination rates should be resumed from next month.

Fully vaccinated passengers and those who have recovered from the disease will be quarantined for seven days at paid facilities on arrival in Vietnam.

In the second phase starting in the second quarter of 2022, passengers with vaccine passports approved by Vietnam would be exempt from quarantine, and that from the third quarter, normal flights would resume.

Currently, the Health Ministry allows fully vaccinated foreign arrivals to undergo seven-day mandatory quarantine while covering their own expenses.

Vietnam grounded international flights in March last year, allowing only its nationals, foreign experts, investors, and highly-skilled workers to enter.

After two years of border closures, Vietnam reopened its doors to foreign tourists last month.

It has received 978 foreign visitors exploring Quang Nam, Khanh Hoa and Kien Giang.

 
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