The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) proposed the Ministry of Transport on Friday increase the number of weekly international flights from four to seven for some destinations with high demand.
Japan will be the first to apply the increase among the nine markets that Vietnam has announced its plan to resume air links with, at an estimated frequency of four flights a week per destination, from January 1, 2022.
The nine destinations include San Francisco or Los Angeles in the U.S., Singapore, Bangkok in Thailand, Phnom Penh in Cambodia, Vientiane in Laos, Beijing in mainland China, Tokyo in Japan, Seoul in South Korea, and Taipei in Taiwan.
After the CAAV put forward the plan to authorities in those markets on December 17, only Japan has officially approved the resumption.
The Japanese side has appointed Japan Airlines and All Nippons Airways as the designated operators on the newly-resumed routes, while Vietnam’s national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines and low-cost airline Vietjet Air have put air tickets of those routes up for sale.
The first flight to Japan is expected to take off on January 6, 2022 after the New Year holiday.
The CAAV came up with the proposal following a report sent by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on Thursday, which mentioned more than 140,000 overseas Vietnamese's longing to return home for the 2022 Lunar New Year holiday.
Considering that Vietnamese airlines will not fully make use of the number of flights allocated to Laos, Cambodia, and the U.S., the CAAV proposed sparing the unused allocations in these three markets for others with high demand, such as Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan.
As Japan had given a nod, the Vietnamese aviation watchdog suggested raising the number of weekly international flights between Vietnam and Japan from four to seven.
Vietnam closed its doors to foreign tourists and grounded international flights in March last year, allowing entry only to Vietnamese repatriates, foreign experts, investors, and highly-skilled workers, among others.
The Southeast Asian country has documented 1,620,869 patients since the COVID-19 pandemic first struck early last year, with 1,215,261 recoveries and 30,833 deaths.
More than 76.6 million of the country’s 98 million people have received at least one dose while upwards of 64.8 million have been injected twice.