Vietnamese carriers brace for peak Tet travel rush

By Doan Loan   December 22, 2021 | 01:18 am PT
Vietnamese carriers brace for peak Tet travel rush
Bamboo Airways aircraft at Tan Son Nhat Airport in HCMC. Photo courtesy of Bamboo Airways
Domestic carriers have opened their ticket sales for Tet, Vietnam's biggest holiday, and increased flight frequency to meet peak travel demand.

Vietnam Airlines and its subsidiaries Pacific Airlines and Vietnam Air Services Company (VASCO) plan to operate 10,000 to 11,000 flights, or around two million seats, from Jan. 16 to Feb. 15 to serve customers during the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday. The figure was down 10 percent from the same period last year amid the worsening pandemic.

Currently, Vietnam Airlines has been selling 1.2 million tickets, with the figure to continue rising depending on market demand.

Tet, which peaks on Feb. 1 this time, oftens sees millions of migrant workers from major cities and industrial hubs return to their homes for family reunions or holiday-goers flock to tourist hotspots.

Bamboo Airways also increased the frequency on several domestic routes to meet growing travel demand during the peak season.

The carrier has increased the frequency to five daily flights on the Hanoi-Ho Chi Minh City route from Dec. 15 while other routes connecting Hanoi, HCMC with Da Nang being increased to three flights per day.

For other routes from Hanoi, HCMC to beach tourist hotspots Cam Ranh, Phu Quoc and Da Nang City, Bamboo Airways doubled in frequency to two return flights a day.

On the peak days of Tet, Tan Son Nhat International Airport in HCMC and Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, the country’s largest, are expected to receive 1,100 and 600 flights a day respectively, an increase of 20 percent compare to weekdays.

Since early this month, the government allowed domestic carriers to increase domestic flight frequency to meet higher travel demand during the year-end season.

Currently, passengers need to satisfy one of three conditions: a negative test obtained 72 hours prior, a certificate showing they are fully vaccinated with the second shot between 14 days and 12 months or a certificate proving they recovered from Covid-19 more than six months before.

But those from high-risk or locked-down areas, along with HCMC and Can Tho, need to furnish a negative coronavirus test before boarding, even if they have been fully vaccinated or have recovered from Covid-19.

Passengers are required to make medical declaration before boarding, using the PC-Covid application. Passengers will not be allowed to board the flight if they show symptoms of cough, fever, shortness of breath, muscle ache, sore throat or loss of taste.

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