Vietnam Airlines to operate routine inbound flight for first time in months

By Nguyen Quy   September 22, 2020 | 11:01 pm PT
Vietnam Airlines to operate routine inbound flight for first time in months
A Vietnam Airlines aircraft at Noi Bai Airport, Hanoi, September 19, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy.
Vietnam Airlines will operate a flight from South Korea's Seoul to Hanoi on Friday, the first routine inbound commercial flight in more than six months.

It made the announcement after receiving approval from aviation authorities on Tuesday and has started selling tickets.

Given stringent requirements due to flying amid the Covid-19 pandemic, tickets are not available on the national flag carrier’s website, but only at its ticket offices and agents, the carrier said.

The Airbus A350 aircraft used for the flight has a capacity of 300.

Before boarding, passengers will be required to furnish a certificate that they test negative for the novel coronavirus using the RT-PCR method within the previous three days.

During check-in, foreign nationals must present quarantine registration papers in Vietnam and install Bluezone, a Bluetooth-based app that helps determine if a person has come into close contact with a Covid-19 patient.

The only foreigners allowed now are those with diplomatic and official passports, experts, managers, high-skilled workers, and investors, their family members, international students, and family members of Vietnamese citizens.

A Hanoi-Tokyo flight, Vietnam's first routine outbound commercial flight after six months of suspension due to the pandemic, carried over 100 passengers to Japan last Saturday. Some previous international flights were arranged by Vietnam's government and its counterparts. Vietnam suspended all international flights on March 25.

The government has allowed the resumption of flights to mainland China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand, but airlines are grappling with practical issues and have yet to finalize their schedules.

Vietnam has had 1,068 Covid-19 cases so far, 50 of them active, and 35 deaths. There have been no new community transmission cases in the country for more than two weeks.

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