06:00 | 04/12/2021 Culture & Tourism
(VEN) - Vietnam plans to restart international commercial flights with 15 countries from January next year, with full resumption planned by July.
|All domestic airlines and travel companies are looking forward to reopening international flights|
Safe and flexible adaptation
The Covid-19 pandemic has greatly affected Vietnam’s tourism sector since the beginning of 2020. Last year, the number of international visitors to Vietnam only reached 3.8 million, a drop of nearly 80 percent compared to 2019. Accommodation facilities, food service establishments and transportation have not been able to recover properly due to the absence of international visitors.
Speedy resumption of international flights is vital for the tourism recovery but depends on pandemic control and the ability to deal with possible new outbreaks. Nguyen Quang Trung, head of the Planning and Development Department of Vietnam Airlines, said all domestic airlines and travel companies are looking forward to reopening international flights. If the reopening is delayed, Vietnam will lose its competitiveness and market recovery will be slow, Trung warned.
Nguyen Le Phuc, deputy general director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, said the tourism sector is ready to welcome international visitors and will collaborate with other agencies in making tourism safe.
Vietnam is currently one of the regional countries with the fastest injection rate of more than two million doses on peak days. With the government’s decision to switch from “Zero Covid-19” to safe and flexible adaptation to the pandemic, the reopening of international flights is deemed appropriate.
Phased resumption of international flights
The Ministry of Transport has proposed to the prime minister reopening regular international flights to Vietnam in three phases. The first phase, from the first quarter of 2022, will apply to Vietnamese passengers and foreigners from 15 countries and territories, including China, Hong Kong (China), Japan, the Republic of Korea, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Laos, Cambodia, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and Australia.
The second phase, starting in the second quarter of 2022, will allow regular flights for passengers with Covid-19 vaccine passports and will not require quarantine. The third phase, starting from the third quarter of 2022, will see regular international flights depending on the pandemic and vaccine situation. Flight frequency will be determined by airlines.
Vo Huy Cuong, deputy director of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam, said the plan to reopen regular international flights is realistic and is based on the experience of other countries. He also suggested the aviation industry continue the rescue flights so as to rebuild the trust of international guests.
Pham Thu Hang, deputy spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said Vietnamese authorities are considering the expansion of subjects eligible to enter Vietnam at an appropriate time towards the resumption of international commercial flights as usual. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is urgently discussing with 80 partners to speed up mutual recognition of Covid-19 vaccine passports.
|The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam estimates that 500,000 international visitors will be coming to Vietnam in the immediate future.|