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Sunday, October 24, 2021

Transport Ministry seeks to resume Hanoi-HCMC air services

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – The Ministry of Transport today, October 7, wrote to the Hanoi City government suggesting the resumption of air services between Hanoi and HCMC from October 10.

According to the document sent to Hanoi City, the ministry suggested two solutions to restarting domestic flights between the nation’s two largest cities based on the direction of Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh, the local media reported.

As per the first solution, two return flights would be operated between the two cities per day.

Under the second solution, four one-way flights from Hanoi to HCMC would be allowed per day.

Passengers must comply with anti-coronavirus measures, file health declarations, must have received the second Covid-19 vaccine dose at least 14 days before departure or recovered from Covid-19 within the past six months.

Those departing from extremely-high-risk areas must produce proof of negative test results that are valid for up to 72 hours prior to departure.

The Ministry of Transport asked the Hanoi government to give its opinion on the resumption of flights to other localities.

As of October 6, the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) received feedback on a draft plan to resume the domestic flights of 16 localities. Seven agreed completely with the draft plan, six agreed with part of the draft plan, while three others—Hanoi, Haiphong and Gia Lai—proposed delaying the resumption.

Earlier, CAAV submitted a plan to resume 10 air routes from October 10, including those from HCMC to Thanh Hoa, Khanh Hoa, Phu Yen, Binh Dinh, Phu Quoc, Thua Thien-Hue and Nghe An and from Thanh Hoa to Khanh Hoa, Daklak and Phu Quoc.

Each route will be reopened with the agreement of the two localities where the airports are located and the authorities of the airports.

On the same day, the Vietnam Aviation Business Association (VABA) proposed cities and provinces agree to resume scheduled passenger flights, especially those from/to Hanoi, Danang and HCMC from October 10.

VABA gave four reasons for the resumption of passenger flights.

Specifically, 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.

In addition, the Noi Bai and Tan Son Nhat international airports are the country’s two key airports, serving nearly 90% of the total number of passengers and contributing most to the revenue of local airlines.

If the Noi Bai International Airport continues declining scheduled commercial flights, the aviation sector’s losses would be higher and the country’s economic recovery plan would be affected.

Further, air transport is the safest among the transport services. Pilots, flight attendants and aviation staff have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

Airlines will coordinate with hospitals to conduct quick tests for all passengers before they board planes. All passengers must use the PC-COVID mobile app and should not be placed under mandatory quarantine at the destinations.

Moreover, the vaccination rates in Hanoi, HCMC and other pandemic-hit localities have been rising.

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