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Vietnamese carriers prepare to resume int’l flights

By Nguyen Nam   September 12, 2020 | 05:54 am PT
Vietnamese carriers prepare to resume int’l flights
A Vietnam Airlines aircraft at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, 2019. Photo by Shutterstock/Dirk Daniel Mann.
Vietnamese carriers have announced plans to restore commercial flights internationally after several months of suspension due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.

Starting from September 18, Vietnam Airlines will operate one-way flights from Vietnam to Japan, carrying passengers wishing to work, study or stay in the country.

Three one-way flights would depart from Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport to Tokyo’s Narita International Airport in Japan on September 18, 25 and 30, as well as one from Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City on September 30, the national flag carrier stated. Air tickets are available from Saturday.

Passenger flights from Japan to Vietnam would only recommence after approval from relevant authorities.

All crews will undergo health checks and remain in quarantine upon returning to Vietnam as per Health Ministry protocol.

Vietnamese, numbering nearly 412,000 last year, are the third largest group of foreigners in Japan after Chinese and South Koreans, according to Japan's Justice Ministry. Japan is Vietnam's largest labor market, receiving around 80,000 Vietnamese in 2019, the latter's official data shows.

The national flag carrier is planning to soon resume routes to South Korea, mainland China, Taiwan, Laos and Cambodia.

Bamboo Airways said Taiwan could be the first international market it plans to resume flights to in October.

Budget airline Vietjet Air only has plans to resume the Hanoi-Taipei (Taiwan) route using the A320 aircraft in line with the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam's proposal to the Transport Ministry.

Under the transport ministry's proposal to the government, Vietnam should resume commercial flights from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to mainland China's Guangzhou, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan from September 15, and Laos and Cambodia starting September 22.

Vietnam suspended all international flights on March 25. With border closures and suspension of flights, the number of foreign tourists arriving in Vietnam was only 3.8 million in the first eight months of this year, down 67 percent year-on-year.

The country has reported 1,060 Covid-19 infections so far, 112 still active, with 35 having succumbed to the disease. It has recorded no new local transmissions in nine days.

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