Hanoi has agreed with the Ministry of Transport to resume air travel from Oct 10 with 38 flights/week, including the daily Hanoi-Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi-Danang return flights.
|Vietnam Airlines, Bamboo Airways, and Vietjet Air are the operators in the 11-day period. Photo: VNA|
With Hanoi’s acceptance, the ministry will resume 19 air routes with the majority connecting Ho Chi Minh City and localities.
Of the flights to be operated from Oct 10 to Oct 20 under the Ministry of Transport’s pilot scheme, there are 14 return flights daily between Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) and Binh Dinh, Danang, Thua Thien-Hue, Khanh Hoa, Nghe An, Phu Yen, Quang Binh, Quang Nam, Thanh Hoa, Haiphong, Phu Quoc, Gia Lai, and Rach Gia. The remaining are one return Hanoi-HCMC, Hanoi-Danang, Danang-Can Tho, Danang-Dak Lak, and Thanh Hoa-Lam Dong. In addition, the Hanoi-Can Tho route is under consideration.
“In order to protect the capital, the resumption of domestic flights must be cautious with a specific plan and route,” according to a representative of the Hanoi’s Department of Transport.
The ministry started the air travel resumption plan in early October and it needs to get the nod of localities where the airports are located in, including Hanoi.
Among around 20 cities and provinces, Hanoi was one of the few areas showing no support to the plan, saying flights resumption must go hand-in-hand with anti-pandemic solutions to prevent the resurgence of the virus.
Hanoi has eased Covid-19 restrictions since Sept 21 and the city is now in the new normal. However, it is cautious about the possible widespread transmission of SARS-CoV-2 if flights to the city are resumed, and place a greater burden on its quarantine facilities.
Eligible air passengers are doubled doses or recovered Covid-19 patients with negative testing results within 72 hours.
Vietnam Airlines, the national flag carrier, Bamboo Airways, and Vietjet Air are the flight operators for the 11-day trial period.
Vietnam Airlines will operate the return Hanoi-HCMC flights departing Hanoi at 13:00 and HCMC at 16:00 using Boeing 787 or Airbus A350, the carrier’s two largest airplanes with capacity 309 and 329 seats each, respectively.
Currently, Vietnam Airlines operates 95 routes to 22 domestic and 29 international destinations with more than 400 flights per day. It’s the first the carrier to operate both Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner and Airbus A350 at the same time for international flights.
Bamboo Airways is a Vietnamese leisure airline and one of the two airlines operating direct Vietnam-US flights.
Vietjet Air is a famous low-cost carrier in Vietnam. It helps make flying a popular means of transport in Vietnam.
The resumption of domestic flights is part of Vietnam’s recovery plans after five months stricken by the fresh pandemic outbreak that flared up in late April.
Since mid-July, the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) suspended all domestic flights to the south due to widespread transmission in the region, including HCMC. In late August, it halted all domestic flights nationwide except for those with the anti-pandemic missions.
Thus far, Vietnam has brought the pandemic under control, including the most affected areas like HCMC, the manufacturing hub of Binh Duong, and industrial park hubs of Dong Nai and Long An.
Massive testing and vaccination are essential to the pandemic fight over the past months. So far, the vaccination rate is highest in HCMC with more than 70% of its adults fully inoculated. Hanoi, meanwhile, targets to finish the injection of the second jabs in November.