A Vietnam Airlines flight from Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur landed at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi on May 7 night.
This is the first flight operated by the national flag carrier between the two capital cities after 26-month hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
A flight of the national flag carrier. Photo: Vietnam Airlines
In an interview with the Vietnam News Agency in Kuala Lumpur, Hoang Minh Tri, head of the airlines’ branch in Malaysia, said there will be three return flights on the route per week.
“The resumption is necessary because demand is recovering while the pandemic has been contained. Malaysia authorities request passengers to present a negative Covid-19 test result prior to boarding,” Tri noted.
He added that from now to the end of the year, Vietnam Airlines will also gradually increase its frequency on the Kuala Lumpur - Ho Chi Minh City route to a maximum of two flights a day.
Do Van Chung, a worker in Moscow (Russia), told the Vietnam News Agency that in order to return to Hanoi, he had to fly around from Moscow to Dubai and from Dubai to Kuala Lumpur. However, he was very happy to be able to return home after more than two years.
Like Chung, Do Phu and Hoang Dinh are workers in Malaysia who have not been home for over two years, so they are looking forward to this flight.
The national flag carrier stopped operating flights from Malaysia to Vietnam on March 17, 2020, due to the former’s pandemic-induced border closure. On February 18, 2022, it resumed its service.
Hoang Minh Tri expressed his hope that in 2023, demand for travel between the nations will get back to the level before the pandemic.
Vietnam fully reopened its inbound tourism on March 15 after nearly two years of closure and resumed its visa exemption policy for 13 countries, including Japan, South Korea, and European countries.
In the best-case scenario, Vietnam's aviation industry would transport 42-43 million passengers in 2022, or around 50% of pre-pandemic numbers, said Bui Minh Dang, deputy head of the air transportation department at the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam.