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Thursday, May 13, 2021

When to restart international flights still undecided

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HCMC – Vietnam’s national aviation authority is still undecided over the exact date for the reopening of international commercial air routes, although domestic flight operations have been fully restored after travel restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic were eased in the country, said Vo Huy Cuong, deputy head of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV).

He advised local carriers to remain prepared for the complete resumption of services once travel restrictions and quarantine barriers are removed.

The country can create a safe travel zone between Vietnam and South Korea and Hong Kong until an effective treatment of Covid-19 is available, he noted. The aviation authority is also working to set up safe air routes to transport travelers to and from France.

Last week, the Ministry of Transport tasked CAAV with studying and proposing measures that need to be taken to relax immigration restrictions and resume operations on some routes to boost trade, travel and investment activities. CAAV’s observations need to be reported to the ministry prior to June 10 before they are sent to the prime minister for consideration and approval.

To date, Vietnamese carriers have resumed services on domestic routes.

Since the social distancing measures ended on April 23, national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines has transported over 500,000 passengers on domestic flights. In mid-May, it launched five new domestic routes to popular destinations to meet the rising demand of travelers.

Local budget airline Vietjet stated that it has fully resumed services on domestic routes, and reported an average seat occupancy rate of some 90%.

Another Vietnamese carrier, Bamboo Airways, plans to increase the number of its daily domestic flights to 80 from today, June 1, and to 120 from June 12, primarily on the busiest route connecting Hanoi and HCMC and other routes to large cities.

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