Da Nang accorded its first international visitors on commercial flights in two years a special welcome with bouquets and a water cannon show.
The Wood family of four from Australia expressed surprised and happiness on receiving such a special welcome.
After a couple minutes of medical procedures, the mother took their twins out of the terminal, while the father wheeled off their luggage. They stopped for a few moments as the boys watched a lion dance show on the street.
“I am glad to be back in Da Nang after two years of Covid-19 suspension,” Wood said, adding that the warm welcome had brightened her day.
The family has made bookings at a seaside resort and plan to stay there for several days.
“We will walk around Da Nang and Hoi An, go to the beach and enjoy lots of delicious meals,” she said.
Another passenger, Ben, from Spain, was visiting Da Nang for the first time with a friend.
“Everything’s easy when you travel to Vietnam now,” Ben said, adding that he would stay in Da Nang for three days before going to Hue.
Nguyen Van Hung flew from the Netherlands to Singapore and then to Da Nang. He said he was glad to see the city opening up again.
“While I live abroad, I hope to return to my home country every year to visit my family,” he said, adding that he would stay in Vietnam for longer this time.
At a ceremony to commemorate the resumption of international flights Sunday, Tran Phuoc Son, deputy chairman of the Da Nang People’s Committee, said the aviation and tourism industries have suffered greatly due to the pandemic and the disruption of international flights.
In 2019, before Covid-19 happened, the Da Nang International Airport received over 98,000 flights, with over 7.1 million international visitors and 8.4 million domestic travelers. The pandemic had cut down the number of flights in the past two years by over 80 percent and reduced revenues by over 70 percent compared to the same period in 2019.
“The resumption of international flights isn’t just about their return, but also a milestone for a new age of development to recover all international flight routes to Da Nang,” Son said, adding that the city would strive to resolve all issues to facilitate recovery of the tourism and aviation industries.
Phan Kieu Hung, deputy director of the Da Nang International Airport, said the resumption of international flights would boost international tourism, diplomacy, investment and cultural exchange, serving the goal of sustainable economic growth.
Da Nang received two international flights Sunday. Besides the SQ172 flights from Singapore, there was another flight from Thailand’s Bangkok. The flight from Singapore would arrive once a day, and the one from Bangkok three times a week, though flight frequencies might be adjusted as demand changes.
Vietnam had suspended international commercial flights since March 2020 as the Covid-19 pandemic raged around the world. It fully reopened international tourism starting March 15.
Passengers only need to have valid negative results of PCR Covid-19 tests done within 72 hours before getting on the plane, along with full vaccination or Covid-19 recovery certificates.
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