The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) has proposed that weekly flights between the Southeast Asian country and China, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Laos, and Cambodia be operated from August.
The proposal came after the prime minister recently agreed to resume commercial flights to and from China after months of closure due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
According to the CAAV, foreign airlines such as Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines have been operating international flights to and from Vietnam since June.
Vietnam Airlines has also maintained a regular flight schedule between the country and South Korea.
Since July, Emirates Airlines, Qatar Airways, China Airlines, Eva Airways, Asiana Airlines, and Korean Air have operated regular flights to and from Vietnam.
However, these were either cargo or passenger flights for special groups, including Vietnamese citizens stranded abroad, diplomats, and experts.
The CAAV and Ministry of Transport will work with their counterparts in China, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Laos, and Cambodia to discuss in detail the conditions for the transport of passengers between Vietnam and these destinations.
The first of such regular flights are expected to take off in August.
If these flights are operated on a weekly basis, approximately 2,500 to 3,000 passengers will be entering Vietnam every week, aside from Vietnamese citizens repatriated on special services and experts brought to the country on charter flights.
Guests traveling on regular flights to Vietnam must have a valid visa and undergo mandatory quarantine upon their arrival to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
During the first phase, the CAAV plans to organize regular flights along such routes as Guangzhou-Da Nang, Tokyo-Hanoi, Seoul-Hanoi, Taipei-Ho Chi Minh City, Vientiane-Quang Ninh, and Phnom Penh-Can Tho.
Only national carrier Vietnam Airlines will be permitted to run these flights. Other airlines will be allowed to take part in the plan when the pandemic situation improves.
Flight crews, aviation personnel, immigration and customs officers, and medical quarantine personnel must wear protective gear when coming into contact with passengers.
Regarding the resumption of Vietnam-China flights, Dinh Viet Thang, head of the CAAV, stated that the agency has yet to consider permitting the transportation of tourists on these flights.
The services will be reserved for diplomats, experts, investors, skilled workers, foreign students studying in Vietnam, and their kin, Thang elaborated.
Vietnam began barring entry to foreign nationals on March 22 and suspended international flights from March 25 in a bid to curb the coronavirus spread.