Vietnamese carriers ready for regular flights to Japan, US

By Doan Loan   December 23, 2021 | 02:30 am PT
Vietnamese carriers ready for regular flights to Japan, US
A Vietnam Airlines aircraft lands at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City, June 15, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam has permitted airlines to commence ticket sales for regular international flights to Japan and the U.S. scheduled to depart Jan. 1.

Dinh Viet Thang, head of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV), said it had negotiated with markets to which Vietnam plans to resume regular international flights from Jan. 1.

So far, Japanese aviation authorities have agreed with Vietnam's flight resumption plan while American equivalents have also allowed Vietnam Airlines to start regular direct flights to the U.S., Thang said, adding aviation agencies of other countries have not yet officially responded.

On Dec. 10, the government had approved the resumption of commercial flights between Vietnam and nine destinations with high vaccination rates and good pandemic control measures from Jan. 1.

Regular flights are scheduled to resume to Bangkok (Thailand), Beijing/Guangzhou (China), Phnom Penh (Cambodia), San Francisco or Los Angeles (the U.S.), Seoul (South Korea), Singapore, Taipei (Taiwan), Tokyo (Japan), and Vientiane (Laos).

Thang said only Vietnam Airlines and Vietjet had operated direct flights from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to Tokyo before the Covid outbreak; therefore, CAAV has agreed to only allocate flight slots to Japan for these two airlines, with the same frequency as before the pandemic.

The Japanese side has also stated it would designate Japan Airlines and ANA to resume flights to Vietnam.

Vietnam Airlines will operate two direct flights per week from HCMC to San Francisco using the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350, the two most modern wide-body aircraft.

A representative of Vietnam Airlines said the airline will announce the ticket price and number of flights on its website so passengers could buy tickets online.

A representative of Vietjet Air added the airline is ready to resume regular international routes to Tokyo, Seoul, Taipei, Bangkok, Singapore and Phnom Penh.

Under the Ministry of Transport’s international flight resumption plan, each side would operate four to seven flights a week, with the frequency to increase later depending on market demand.

Under the latest guidelines issued by the health ministry last week, fully vaccinated people and those who have recovered from Covid-19 will only need to self-isolate for three days instead of having to spend a week at centralized quarantine facilities.

All arrivals, except children below two, must have tested negative for the novel coronavirus using the PCR method within 72 hours before departure.

Vietnam closed its borders and grounded international flights in March 2020, allowing in only citizens, foreign experts, investors, and highly-skilled workers.

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