The Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV) has licensed domestic carriers to operate services on eight of nine previously approved routes for resumption of commercial international flights.
After the government approved a two-week first phase in resumption of flights to nine destinations starting January 1, the CAAV has granted flight slots for domestic carriers to eight of them: Bangkok, San Francisco, Seoul, Singapore, Taipei, Tokyo, Phnom Penh and Vientiane.
Flight slots to Beijing or Guangzhou in China are pending because Vietnamese aviation authorities are yet to complete negotiations with their Chinese counterparts.
After operating its first flight on New Year’s day to Cambodian capital Phnom Penh from HCMC, national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines will operate one to Japan on Jan. 5, South Korea (Hanoi-Seoul) on Jan. 6; to Thailand (Hanoi-Bangkok) on Jan. 8; to Laos and Taiwan (Hanoi-Vientiane and Hanoi-Taipei) on Jan. 11; and Singapore (HCMC – Singapore) on Jan. 12.
A Vietnam Airlines representative said they are ready to operate flights to Europe and Australia within this month on receiving permission from the CAAV.
Budget carriers Vietjet Air and Bamboo Airways have also announced resumption of flights on three routes – the former to Japan and Taiwan (Taipei to Hanoi and HCMC) and the latter on one (Hanoi-Taipei).
Aviation officials and industry insiders have said that the recovery rate of each foreign market will be different, depending on the vaccination process and the re-opening plan of each country.
The IATA has forecast that by 2022, the Asian market will recover gradually, but at a speed that is slower than Europe and North America.
Vietnam Airlines has forecast that this year’s air transport volume will reach 70-75 percent of the period before the pandemic, with international transport comprise about 20-25 percent of the total.
Vietnam grounded international flights in March last year as it prepared for a long fight against Covid-19. While Vietnamese citizens were allowed to return on repatriation flights, foreigners come in had to be experts, investors and highly-skilled workers coming in on chartered flights.
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