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Transport Ministry proposes reopening int’l air routes in mid-Dec

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – The Ministry of Transport has proposed the Government resume scheduled international flights on nine routes from December 15.

In a plan submitted to the Government on December 7, the ministry suggested the reopening of scheduled international flights be piloted in two phases. The first phase will see the resumption of flights between Vietnam and China’s Beijing, Japan’s Tokyo, South Korea’s Seoul, Taiwan’s Taipei, Thailand’s Bangkok, Singapore, Laos’ Vientiane, Cambodia’s Phnom Penh and the United States’ San Francisco or Los Angeles.

These international destinations are of political and economic importance to Vietnam as large numbers of investors, experts and workers are interested in Vietnam, the local media reported.

In addition, many Vietnamese citizens living, studying and working in these areas are looking to return to the country.

The number of air routes proposed for reopening this time is six fewer than last month’s proposal.

Only the Tan Son Nhat (HCMC) and Noi Bai (Hanoi) international airports should be allowed to handle flights to and from these markets, according to the ministry.

The Ministry of Transport suggested allowing four flights per week on each route in each direction, carrying some 14,000 passengers to Vietnam per week in the first phase, which will last for two weeks from December 15.

In the second phase, which will begin in January next year, the Ministry of Transport proposed reopening more routes, including those between Vietnam and Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, France’s Paris, Germany’s Frankfurt, Australia’s Sydney and Russia’s Moscow.

Besides the two airports in HCMC and Hanoi, the Danang International Airport in the city of the same name, the Cam Ranh Airport in Khanh Hoa Province, the Phu Quoc International Airport off the coast of Kien Giang Province and the Van Don Airport in Quang Ninh Province should be added to the list of airports eligible for handling scheduled international flights.

In this phase, which will last for a month, the flight frequency will increase to seven on each route in each direction, carrying around 40,000 passengers to Vietnam per week.

To resume these international flights, the Ministry of Transport proposed the Government assign the Ministry of Health to issue guidelines on the quarantine exemption for passengers entering Vietnam and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to negotiate on the reciprocal recognition of vaccine passports with other countries and territories, prioritizing those from/to which Vietnam will reopen air routes.

Meanwhile, the Ministries of Health, Public Security and Information-Communications should reach a consensus on a single health declaration app for international air passengers.

According to the Ministry of Transport, the demand of Vietnamese citizens for coming back to the country is huge as the new year holiday is approaching. In addition, the number of foreigners entering Vietnam for work, investment, production, business and travel is high.

Therefore, the resumption of scheduled international flights is necessary. It will also help the tourism sector and the economy recover.

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