Vietnam-South Korea flights halted due to COVID-19

March 03, 2020 | 16:11
Vietnamese and South Korean carriers continue announcing more suspensions of flights between the two countries during the COVID-19 storm.
vietnam south korea flights halted due to covid 19
Airlines in Vietnam and South Korea cancel flights in growing numbers due to the COVID-19 epidemic. Source: AFP

Due to the serious development of COVID-19 epidemic in South Korea, national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines has recently decided to suspend all flights between Vietnam and South Korea starting from March 5.

On March 3 and 4, all Vietnam Airlines flights from Seoul (Incheon International Airport) and Busan (Gimhae International Airport) to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City will arrive at other airports in Vietnam: Van Don in Quang Ninh province, Can Tho, and Phu Cat in Quy Nhon province, at the request of authorities.

To protect the safety of staff, the entire crew on these flights will be equipped with protective medical gear. The airline also disinfects all aircraft returning from South Korea to actively prevent the spread of COVID-19.

According to Vietnam Airlines, routes will be reopened to South Korea once the COVID-19 situation becomes more positive and control is reasserted.

Previously, two Vietnamese carriers have also announced the suspension of Vietnam-South Korea flights.

Bamboo Airways late last month has stopped flights from Danang and Nha Trang to Incheon (frequency of seven round trips a week), while Jetstar Pacific has also called off flying this route as soon as COVID-19 broke out in South Korea.

As such, among local airlines, Vietjet Air is the only carrier which has yet to officially announce a complete suspension of its Vietnam-South Korea routes (except for flights to and from Daegu). At the moment, Vietjet has reduced flight frequency to other destinations in South Korea.

South Korean airlines such as Korean Air and Asiana Airlines said that they will sharply reduce the number of flights to many destinations in Vietnam in March because of the COVID-19. The former said that many of its flights from Incheon Airport and Busan Airport to cities in Vietnam such as Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Danang, Nha Trang, or Phu Quoc will be suspended during March and April. However, the Incheon-Danang route still remains operational with the frequency reduced to three flights per week.

Similarly, Asiana Airlines temporarily stopped operating the majority of its flights from Incheon Airport to Hanoi, Danang, and Nha Trang at least until the middle of March.

By Tu My

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