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Monday, October 25, 2021

Pilot resumption of domestic flights to begin on Oct 10

By Van Phong

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HCMC – Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh announced at a meeting on October 8 that the Government has approved a pilot reopening of several domestic air routes from October 10 to 20.

During this 10-day period, there will be 23 return flights every day. Ten of them are flights from HCMC to other localities, six from Hanoi, four from Danang and three from Thanh Hoa,

These flights will only allow passengers that have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 with the last dose administered at least two weeks before departure, or those who have recovered from the disease within the last six months.

Besides, all passengers have to test negative for Covid-19 within 72 hours before their flights.

While travelling from the airport to their accommodation, the passengers have to strictly comply with anti-Covid protocols.

Moreover, they should keep a close eye on their health condition for at least seven days after their arrival. 

According to the Vietnam Aviation Business Association, aviation is a driving force of the economy. In 2019, when the pandemic had yet to break out, the sector carried 116 million domestic and international passengers, earned over VND200 trillion in revenue and paid over VND20 trillion in taxes and fees.

However, since the pandemic hit the world, the revenue of airlines declined to less than 10% of that in the pre-pandemic period. Their losses may amount to VND20 trillion this year and dues and short-term loans were VND36 trillion.

The suspension of flights has caused losses of over VND500 billion per day for the aviation sector and nearly VND2 trillion a day for the tourism sector.

Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh said the resumption of domestic flights is expected to help the economy gradually recover. However, this must be done with caution. 

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