From March 7, no Vietnamese airlines would operate flights from and to South Korea as Vietjet Air has been the last local carrier to suspend all flights to and from the coronavirus-hit country.
In a statement, Vietjet Air said it has been coordinating closely with authorities and airports to implement the operation processes in accordance with all global standards and recommendations from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the World Health Organization (WHO) and other aviation authorities in order to control the disease, ensure the highest safety for passengers, flight crews and aircraft.
Before the epidemic, Vietjet Air operated the largest number of flight routes from Vietnam to South Korea with frequency of 480 flights per month on 11 direct flight routes.
Previously, Bamboo Airways was the first airline in Vietnam to suspend flights between Vietnam and South Korea since February 26. Flag carrier Vietnam Airlines followed suit by cancelling all flights to South Korea from March 5.
From the South Korean side, Korean Air said it has temporarily cancelled a number of flights from Incheon and Busan airports to Vietnam’s destinations such as Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Da Nang, Nha Trang and Phu Quoc in March and April.
Asiana Airlines has also stopped flights from Incheon to Hanoi, Da Nang and Nha Trang to mid-March.
However, both are still operating flights from Incheon to Da Nang and Phu Quoc with a combined five flights per week.
Since March 1, the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) has ordered Noi Bai and Tan Son Nhat airports to stop receiving flights from South Korea. Planes from South Korea are redirected to land in three designated airports of Van Don, Phu Cat and Can Tho.
The Vietnamese authority has halted issuing visas for South Korean citizens from February 29.
To date, the Vietnamese authority has not considered suspending flights between the two countries, so the decision to stop flights to South Korea was based on the airlines’ own consideration.
So far, the CAAV has only requested local airlines stop flights to mainland China.