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Vietnam’s Khanh Hoa Province, home to Nha Trang, mulls non-stop flight route to Russia

Vietnam’s Khanh Hoa Province, home to Nha Trang, mulls non-stop flight route to Russia

Thursday, September 30, 2021, 17:40 GMT+7
Vietnam’s Khanh Hoa Province, home to Nha Trang, mulls non-stop flight route to Russia
Russian tourists visit Khanh Hoa Province, Vietnam. File photo: Xuan Huong / Tuoi Tre

Authorities of Vietnam’s Khanh Hoa Province and Russia’s Saint Petersburg City are discussing a plan for a non-stop flight route, which is anticipated to bring more Russian tourists to the province’s renowned beaches of Nha Trang City.

Before the shutdown of international tourism due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia was one of the biggest foreign tourist markets to Khanh Hoa, contributing 460,000 visits to the locale’s tourism sector in 2019, Nguyen Thi Le Thanh, deputy director of the provincial Department of Tourism, said during a conference on Wednesday.

The conference was held to discuss health and tourism collaboration between Khanh Hoa and Saint Petersburg.

Prior to the pandemic, tourism agencies such as Pegas, Anex, Focus, Coral Travel, and Summar Travel had been operating a total of four to six charter flights a day to bring visitors from Russian cities to Khanh Hoa’ Cam Ranh Airport.

However, due to the emergence of COVID-19, Vietnam has closed its borders to foreign tourists since March last year, effectively shuttering all international tourism activities in the country.

“As the epidemic situation is more under control at the moment, the local Department of Tourism will seek the prime minister’s approval for a plan to welcome back foreign tourists with vaccination certificates in November,” Thanh stated.

“Khanh Hoa’s tourism sector also suggests an early launch of a two-way, non-stop flight route connecting Saint Petersburg and Khanh Hoa to offer comfortable transport to tourists and help to promote tour packages.”

Russian tourists coming to Khanh Hoa in pre-COVID times could choose from 28 flight routes operated by five airlines, of which Saint Petersburg is a viable departure point, said Le Thi Hong Minh, CEO of Cam Ranh International Terminal Joint Stock Company, which operates the namesake airport.

“We hope that a Khanh Hoa - Saint Petersburg non-stop commercial flight route is soon available so that Russian tourists can reach Khanh Hoa more easily, plus Vietnamese can also have more options to visit Saint Petersburg,” she said.

The outlook is bright for a relaunch of international flights after the pandemic, said Le Van Nghia, CEO of Nhat Minh Travel Joint Stock Company.

The first phase of the relaunch is slated to start in December and is waiting for the prime minister’s approval.

Seeing the opportunity, the company has liaised with Siberia Airlines to organize a service from Saint Petersburg to Cam Ranh Airport with a transit point in Russia’s Novosibirsk, with four flights available per week.

Provided the route is lucrative, Nhat Minh will expand the flight operations to bring passengers from ten other Russian cities to Khanh Hoa, with a total frequency of 20 flights per week.

Speaking at the conference, Kalganov Vyacheslav Gennadievich, deputy chairman of the External Affairs Committee in Saint Petersburg, affirmed that the Russian city will focus on addressing the consequences of COVID-19 in order to continue its extensive cooperation with Vietnam, specifically in its collaborations with Khanh Hoa in cancer research and COVID-19 treatment.

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