Vietnam will reopen international air connections to six Asian countries

Vietnam, ban, covid-19, Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet

Hanoi airport

Cambodia, China, Japan, Korea, Laos and Taiwan will again be connected by flights to Vietnam with limited air links. A first step to a normalisation as Vietnam continues to be fully isolated. 

Vietnam is resuming international flights for up to 5000 travelers per week to 6 Asian cities, state media reported on Thursday.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) is proposing the resumption of flights to Guangzhou, Seoul, Vientiane, Phnom Penh, Taipei and Tokyo, Giao Thong newspaper reported. Flights started to be banned in late January. The country totally shut down its air space for international flights by early March.

This will be the first easing of COVID-19 related flight restrictions for business travelers after months of lockdown. The flights will allow for up to 5,000  travelers to travel between Vietnam and the 6 Asian cities. All travelers will undergo a mandatory 14 day quarantine upon arrival with the exception for trips that are under two weeks according to the health ministry.

Vietnam Airlines and discount carrier Vietjet were named as the two airlines that would serve the relaunched international routes but strict limits will be placed on the number of visitors to Vietnam. First flights to start will be to Tokyo and Seoul with four frequencies per week each, according to CAAV Director General Dinh Viet Thang.

Reopening flights was a measure asked by all local airlines which struggle to keep financially afloat. Local airlines are benefiting from fee exemptions and reductions for many aviation services until the end of 2020. Vietnam Airlines expected its revenue this year to reach VND50 trillion (US$2.15 billion) and a loss of about VND13 trillion (US$559 million). Vietjet could lose as much as US150 million dollars.

Originally planned for July, the CAAV finally postponed its decision as a new wave of covid-19 cases was recorded in Danang as domestic tourism resumed.