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In the proposal to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on Tuesday, the ministry suggested resuming flights to Guangzhou, Seoul, Tokyo, Taiwan, Vientiane and Phnom Penh, with the frequency of one trip per week from each side.
It is reported by VNE that the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam would cooperate with authorities in China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Laos, and Cambodia to reopen these routes as early as August.
The Ministry of Transport estimates there are about 2,500 to 3,000 visitors who will enter Vietnam each week on these commercial flights besides repatriation flights with about 1000 to 1500 people per week.
|The Ministry of Transport proposes to resume international flight routes this August Illustrative photo: Bao Moi|
Passengers boarding these flights must have a valid visa and are required to be quarantined for 14days according to the regulations on epidemic prevention upon entry.
It is expected that flights from Guangzhou land at Da Nang International Airport in central Vietnam and those from Tokyo and Seoul at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi. Meanwhile, flights from Taiwan would set down at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in HCMC, those from Laos at Van Don International Airport in the northern Quang Ninh Province and Cambodia at Can Tho International Airport in the Mekong Delta, according to Thanh Nien.
The Ministry of Transport also indicated some challenges when reopening international routes. Specifically, Vietnam Airlines would experience the shortages of flight crew members as they could be quarantined after each flight. Another hindrance is that closing runways in Noi Bai and Tan Son Nhat Airport for upgrade has reduced the operating capacity to 60 to 70 percent. Therefore, increasing international flights at this time will cause overload for both these airports.
|All passengers will be quarantined upon arrival. Photo: Zing News|
The Ministry also emphasized that if the coronavirus pandemic is curbed globally, Vietnam Airlines will increase the frequency of these international flight routes, but in the first stage, it will only operate one flight per week, added Thanh Nien.
The Ministry of Health has been required to finalize medical quarantine guidelines for passengers on such flights. These guidelines are necessary documents for the aviation authorities of the countries to discuss the proposal. Meanwhile, it has recommended the government assign the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to facilitate licensing of Vietnam's flights.
The People's Committees of Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Can Tho and Quang Ninh are responsible for implementing the process of receiving Vietnamese and foreigners at international airports in the area.
Since late March, Vietnam suspended all foreigner arrivals as well as international flights to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Vietnam has confirmed a total of 373 cases of COVID-19, with no reported deaths. 352 of the infectious patients have recovered and been discharged from hospitals. Vietnam has now gone three months without any community infections, and most socio-economic activities have returned to normal.
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