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Vietnam to reopen international flights from April

Valerie Mai Valerie Mai

mnghonganh@gmail.com

March 31, 2021 | 16:33

Vietnam Civil Aviation Authority has proposed the plan to re-launch international flights to carry passengers entering Vietnam.

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Photo: Bao Giao Thong

Vietnam Airlines announces plans to re-operate selective routes from April

Aiming to gradually and safely restore the international flight network, meeting the traveling needs of passengers and contributing to the development of the economy and tourism, from April 1, 2021, to June 30, 2021, Vietnam Airlines will deploy its operation plan in 4 international routes including Hanoi - Narita (Tokyo, Japan), Hanoi - Incheon (Seoul, South Korea), Hanoi - Sydney and Ho Chi Minh City - Sydney (Australia).

Accordingly, flights from Hanoi to Seoul will depart every Thursday. Flights from Hanoi to Tokyo depart on the 3rd, 8th, 11th, 16th, 23rd, 27th, 29th of April, May, and June, with the frequency of 2 flights per week. Flights from Hanoi to Sydney depart every Saturday. Flights from Ho Chi Minh City to Sydney operate twice a week on Thursdays and Sundays.

Vietnam Airlines will continue to work on the carriage of passengers from abroad according to the Government's current entry regulations. In addition, the company also plans to launch combo flights from Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. The performance of these flights is subject to the authorities licensing.

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Photo: Bao Giao Thong

Plans to resume passengers flights from abroad to enter Vietnam

According to the Civil Aviation Authority, the plan is divided into 3 stages. The first stage only applies to combo tickets for Vietnamese citizens. Vietnam's aviation companies are working with partners, diplomatic missions, and localities on COVID-19 preventive isolation plans. A combo ticket includes a flight ticket, COVID-19 testing, 15-day isolation, living cost, and vehicle to pick the customer up from the airport to the hotel. On March 25, a Vietnam Airlines flight from Taipei (Taiwan, China) landed at Da Nang airport. This is also the first combo flight to bring Vietnamese citizens back to their home country, in which passengers have to pay the full cost, marking the restart of international commercial flights after the suspension due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Thanh Nien said.

The second stage will start from July 2021. In this period, Vietnam will allow both Vietnamese and foreigners who have negative COVID-19 testing results to enter the country through flights. After entering the country, customers have to go through isolation periods. In the second stage, Vietnam will open flight routes to and from Japan, Korea, and Taiwan with a frequency of 4 flights/week/way for airlines of each party, which a total of 6000-7000 customers/week.

In the third stage, which takes place from September 2021, depending on the vaccination process in Vietnam, the Civil Aviation Authority will deploy regular flights to Vietnam without post-entry isolation by applying the "vaccine passport" mechanism. Accordingly, customers who can show their negative Real-time PCR test result taken 3-5 days prior to the flight and confirmation of being vaccinated with WHO licensed vaccines. They then have to take a 14-day-isolation at home according to the Ministry of Health regulations. Those who fail to show these papers need to take combo tickets as described above.

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Photo: Thanh Nien

List of countries that applying "vaccine passport"

China was the first country to recognize the application of vaccine passports. However, this Chinese "vaccine passport" only applies to those who have injected 1 of 4 vaccines produced by China. This passport has not received the recognition of any other countries except China, according to Bao Giao Thong. The United States and Europe also support the "vaccine passport", however, there are still disagreements on the effectiveness of some vaccines against pandemics.

In addition to the "vaccine passport", there is also an application called IATA Travel Pass - ITP that helps passengers to store and manage Covid-19 test results or Covid-19 vaccination certificates. The application was developed as a powerful support tool to help Governments in opening the borders. Currently, due to regulations, each country has its own health requirements for passengers on entry. ITP is an integrated solution to help authorities, airlines, and passengers access official information sources and verify the origin of test/vaccination results.

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Valerie Mai