In its efforts to pioneer in technology and become an airline that is actively embracing digital transformation, Bamboo Airways is working with domestic agencies and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to research and test the IATA Travel Pass – an electronic health passport project initiated by IATA, said Nguyen Manh Quan, standing deputy general director of Bamboo Airways.
The IATA Travel Pass mobile application enables passengers to store and manage certifications for COVID-19 tests and vaccines. This will make it easier for governments and airlines to check eligible passengers on international flights.
|Bamboo Airways is ready to operate regular routes to Singapore, Thailand, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Australia, and more as soon as the government permits |
It is expected that passengers can download and use the IATA Travel Pass from April 15 on iOS and Android.
The IATA Travel Pass is deemed to be more effective and reliable than paper documentation systems and procedures of vaccination maintained by IATA for decades. So far, IATA's vaccine passport has received positive feedback from the governments of more than 70 countries and has been tested by many airlines, including 5-star airlines Singapore Airlines and Qatar Airways.
Bamboo Airways is currently applying the most comprehensive and effective set of COVID-19 prevention procedures, reaching 7/7 stars for COVID-19 prevention according to Airline Ratings.
Airline Ratings' set of evaluation criteria covers many standards regarding essential disease prevention at airlines, including equipment and facilities, as well as information disclosure.
Ready for international routes
At the national online meeting of the government on March 17, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc asked related ministries and agencies to conduct research on reopening international routes, as well as carefully prepare plans to roll out the vaccine passport.
Following the PM's instructions, the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) submitted to the Ministry of Transport a three-phase plan to begin exploiting international flights again. Quan said that Bamboo Airways has prepared to reopen flights while strictly following this plan.
|Bamboo Airways considers vaccine passport application, ready for international routes in April |
In the first phase, the CAAV intends to resume all-inclusive flights (combo) for Vietnamese citizens, including tickets, COVID-19 test fees, quarantine hotels, 15 days of meals, as well as ground transportation from the airport to quarantine hotels.
Bamboo Airways has been cooperating with partners and successfully exploited many international charter flights to repatriate citizens from South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, the Philippines, Poland, and Norway. Bamboo planned to operate 20 international flights from Asia to Europe and Australia from early April.
|Bamboo Airways is currently applying the most comprehensive and effective set of COVID-19 prevention procedures, reaching 7/7 stars for COVID-19 prevention according to Airline Ratings. |
In the second phase, the CAAV plans to allow regular flights to carry passengers to Vietnam. Vietnamese and international passengers arriving through routes from Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, among others, will be required to undergo quarantine after their entry.
Bamboo Airways is ready to operate regular routes to Singapore, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Australia, and more foreign destinations as soon as the government permits.
In the third phase, the CAAV may apply the vaccine passport mechanism and allow regular flights to transport passengers to Vietnam without quarantine after entry. This stage could be started after the vaccination campaign in Vietnam achieves sufficient success.
The deputy general director of Bamboo Airways said the carrier was ready to pioneer the application of the vaccine passport mechanism in the operation of international flights. As soon as it is approved by the government and the CAAV, Bamboo Airways will quickly apply the mechanism to operate safe international routes, ensuring the effective prevention of the pandemic.
At the same time, in preparation for this third period, Bamboo Airways is rapidly completing procedures to open new direct flights to many Asian countries (such as Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, and China) and Australia (Melbourne, Sydney) to launch these routes when conditions are favourable.
For the European market, Bamboo Airways has been granted slots at Heathrow Airport (London, UK) by the UK Airport Council. The carrier is completely ready to operate flights to Prague (Czech Republic) as well as Munich and Frankfurt (Germany) when market conditions allow.
Bamboo Airways was also granted leave to operate non-stop flights to the US from the fourth quarter of 2021 by the United States Department of Transportation. The carrier is urgently cooperating with the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam and US aviation authorities to complete procedures for regular flights to the US in the third quarter of 2021.