High hopes for reopening of global flights

January 09, 2022 | 10:58
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With the resumption of international regular flights, air carriers are pinning high hopes on the prospects to recover and rebound. Dinh Viet Thang, director of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam, talked with Bich Thuy about the reopening.

How has the preparation been made to bring the plan into full play?

High hopes for reopening of global flights
Dinh Viet Thang, director of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam

The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) has sent letters to aviation authorities of countries and territories. Japan and South Korea have agreed with the plans and designated their airlines to operate regular flights to Vietnam. Cambodia and Taiwan also agreed in principle.

At present, the Ministry of Transport (MoT) is continuing to discuss the plan with the embassies of several other countries. Meanwhile, the US aviation authorities already granted flight codes for Vietnam Airlines.

The resumption of international regular flights to the EU and Australia will happen in the second phase, according to the MoT’s plan. However, after pilot flights to Asian countries and territories in 7-10 days, the CAAV will propose an increase in frequency and start the second phase if everything goes smoothly to facilitate Vietnamese overseas’ return while helping air carriers ease their difficulties.

Could new lockdowns diminish such flights after the resumption?

If any country was to not allow international regular flights from Vietnam, we must accept this. We are working on a scenario in which some markets do not allow airlines to bring passengers into their territory, but do not limit the number of passengers leaving. If lockdowns happen, we can operate one-way flights to bring Vietnamese nationals home.

What is the status on vaccine passports?

If the set of rules guiding passenger conditions upon entry is published in multiple languages, it would be easier for passengers to follow. The sooner the vaccine passport is available, the more favourable conditions come for passengers.

Without a vaccine passport, international regular flights will be operated in line with the following rules: Airlines check full vaccination certificates, or COVID-19 recovery certificates, negative SARS-CoV-2 tests. Passengers who are not fully vaccinated must quarantine at home. Vietnamese passengers on flights to countries must bring papers in English.

It is expected that more Vietnamese overseas will want to return home by the end of the year. Will the flight frequency meet the rising demand?

We will propose authorised agencies to increase flight frequency and reopen more routes. We also worked with airlines on the allocation of the number of flights. If any country is willing to operate regular flights, we will allocate flights to carriers to operate these.

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