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Van Don-Danang air route set to reopen next month

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DANANG – After a four-month suspension triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic, the air route between Van Don International Airport in the northern province of Quang Ninh and Danang International Airport in the central city of Danang may resume operations in July 2020 to serve domestic passengers.

Speaking at a seminar on the tourism stimulus program of Quang Ninh Province 2020 held in Danang on June 8, Dao Manh Kien, director of Vietnam Airlines in central Vietnam, said that in November 2019, Vietnam Airlines kicked off the first flight between the two cities but the route has been suspended since February 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“This route is mainly aimed at connecting flights from China and Korea to Quang Ninh and then to Danang,” Kien said, adding that July 2020 is the earliest the flights would resume operations, primarily serving domestic passengers.

This depends on the recovery of the tourism market and the efficiency of travel stimulus packages, Kien said. Stressing that in the next few days, Vietnam Airlines would negotiate with the tourism associations in Quang Ninh and Danang to evaluate the efficiency of flight hours as well as the number of visitors that can be served, he said, “It is important that we determine the potential number of passengers who would travel on this route.”

At the event, a number of travel businesses suggested that the air carriers should first provide a fixed time period to re-open the route and fares so they can plan accordingly. “We need information on the exact time and the number of tickets sold in advance to design tours,” stated Tran Thi Bich Thuy from Trang An Travel Co.

Nguyen Nhu Nam, general director of Vietnam TravelMart Joint Stock Company, agreed that airlines might not have determined specific flight times. “However, they should set a fixed price for companies so that it is easy for tour operators to offer tour prices for guests,” he said.

Speaking at the event, Pham Ngoc Thuy, director of the Quang Ninh Province Tourism Department, said that aviation plays an important role in connecting regions in the country and around the world, paving the way to attract tourists. However, re-opening air routes including the Van Don-Danang is currently seeing difficulties. “Travel companies wait for airlines and airlines wait for guests from travel companies,” Thuy said, suggesting that airlines should first reveal when they plan to reopen.

At the seminar, representatives from tourism associations from Danang and Quang Ninh and some companies inked a deal for cooperation in tourism promotion.

By Nhan Tam

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