Deputy chief of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) Vo Huy Cuong has recently affirmed there is no restriction on any international air route and that it is up to airlines to decide whether they want to resume regular flights in the context that Vietnam still bars entry to foreigners.
At a government meeting on June 10, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc asked authorities to enable experts, investors, business managers, and skilled workers to enter Vietnam to resume work following mandatory quarantine.
Vietnam has barred entry to foreign nationals since March 22 and suspended international flights from March 25 in a bid to curb the spread of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
In accordance with PM Phuc’s direction on June 10, the CAAV has issued a notice to Vietnamese airlines that there is no longer restriction on any flight route, including to China – where the first COVID-19 outbreak was reported.
There are no restrictions on cargo flights to Vietnam and vice versa, and no restrictions on flights bringing people out of Vietnam, Cuong said.
“Although there is not yet an exact time for the reopening of international routes, we are still seeking solutions to recover international routes. We now maintain international cargo arrivals and departures but still limit the entry of passengers,” the official Vietnam News Agency quoted Cuong as saying in an article published earlier this month.
For instance, the flag carrier Vietnam Airlines has been operating four regular flights from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to Seoul in South Korea on a weekly basis, according to the airline’s deputy general director Le Hong Ha.
In addition, charter and cargo flights have also been bringing foreign passengers to Vietnam, Ha said.
“Japanese and Taiwanese airlines also recently carried experts and skilled workers to Vietnam [with permission from the CAAV],” Cuong, the CAAV’s deputy chief, said.
According to Cuong, if airlines seek to resume regular international flights, the CAAV shall review their request to give permission.
However, as the mass admission of foreign nationals into Vietnam is still disallowed, carriers should take into consideration the efficiency of restoring such regular international services, he noted.
Cuong affirmed that Vietnamese airlines are capable of immediately resuming the operations of international flights thanks to rotating work schedules maintained by aircrews.