Việt Nam to restore international flight frequency to pre-pandemic levels from Feb 15

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Vân Đồn International Airport, Quảng Ninh Province. — VNA/VNS Photo

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam will lift restrictions on the destinations and frequency of international flights from and to Việt Nam starting February 15, 2022, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Việt Nam.

Đinh Việt Sơn, deputy head of the CAAV, said the agency had notified the counterparts in other countries of Việt Nam’s latest policy to reopen regular international flights to pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels.

With the Government’s policy to reopen international tourism before the end of March, the aviation sector needs to be one step ahead, Sơn said.

Even though the restrictions on inbound flights are lifted, entry and exit, as well as disease prevention and control regulations for arrivals into Việt Nam, still need to be followed as per guidelines from the Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Ministry of Health.

Aside from China, which is sticking firmly with its stringent Zero COVID strategy, all other countries with which Việt Nam has discussed the reopening of air links have agreed, including European nations, Australia and the United States.

Japan and South Korea, however, are still limiting the number of foreign arrivals into their countries amid the growing COVID-19 outbreak.

International flights to and from new markets such as the Middle East and Turkey are being planned, according to the CAAV.

Domestic airlines and aviation authorities are ready to fully operate international flight networks to pre-pandemic levels, according to Sơn.

Airlines have repeatedly called for the restoration of flights as soon as possible, as belated reopening will make Việt Nam lose out on tourists and investors, and undermine the country’s competitiveness.

Việt Nam in January this year allowed the tentative reopening of regular international flights to high-demand countries and territories such as Japan’s Tokyo, South Korea’s Seoul, China’s Beijing/Guangzhou, Chinese Taipei, Thailand’s Bangkok, the United States’ San Francisco and Los Angeles, Laos’ Vientiane, Cambodia’s Phnom Penh, and Singapore – with limited frequency after nearly two years of strict border closures.

Previously Deputy Minister of Transport Lê Anh Tuấn ordered the agency to discuss with partners the resumption of regular international passenger flights to Việt Nam as before the pandemic.

The CAAV must report to the Ministry of Transport on the results of the resumption of international routes in February 2022 for the Ministry to summarise and report to the Prime Minister. — VNS

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