Airlines ready for reopening of international routes hinh anh 1Airlines make thorough preparations for reopening international flights which have been suspended for a long time due to COVID-19 (Photo: VietnamPlus)

Hanoi (VNA)
- The reopening of international flights is seen as a way to facilitate people’s travelling and economic development, but it is a must to manage risks related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet Air or Bamboo Airways have made thorough preparations for the reopening of international routes, but they also expect quarantine and procedures to be fast, simple and convenient for passengers.

Airlines look forward to "G hour"

As proposed by the Transport Ministry, flights from/to China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (RoK) will resume on September 15 while those linking with Taiwan, Laos and Cambodia will re-start on September 22. Passengers will include diplomats, Vietnamese citizens abroad wishing to return home, Vietnamese guest workers and highly-skilled foreign experts to work in Vietnam.

A Vietnam Airlines representative said since international flights were suspended in late March, the national flag carrier has kept a close watch on the developments of the pandemic and markets to plan their resumption, with the top priority given to pandemic prevention and control and meeting travelling demand.

For each market, Vietnam Airlines has staff in charge of planning flight schedules, selling tickets and serving passengers as soon as authorities allow.

As preparations for flight resumption are not too difficult, the representative said Vietnam Airlines still maintains regular activities on its international network via carrying overseas Vietnamese home, transporting cargo and passengers one-way from Vietnam to abroad.

From April-August, Vietnam Airlines conducted over 80 repatriation flights, carrying home over 24,600 Vietnamese passengers from nearly 30 countries and territories. Nearly 2,000 flights carrying cargo, medical equipment and face masks, protective suits, testing kits and input materials were conducted successfully, contributing to ensuring trade and supporting the pandemic fight on the global scale.

To serve Vietnamese passengers’ demand for travelling abroad for work and study, Vietnam Airlines has resumed several one-way flights from Hanoi/Ho Chi Minh City to Seoul (the RoK) with 2-4 flights per week and to Frankfurt (Germany) with one weekly flight. As scheduled on September 18, the airline will resume one-way flights linking Hanoi/Ho Chi Minh City with Tokyo, Japan.

As regards the reopening of regular international flights, a Vietjet Air representative said it is time for the Government to resume flights between Vietnam and countries where COVID-19 is put under control.

“Traffic is the blood vessel of the economy. Only when traffic is smooth could the economy develop. Vietnam is in the process of global integration so that aviation plays an increasingly important role in economic development and is vital to the economy of each country. Therefore, the reopening of international routes is opening the door for development and investment activities”, the representative said.

Stressing that COVID-19 prevention and control must ensure the safety and health of passengers, crewmembers and the community, the two airlines pledged to continue strictly complying with the anti-pandemic regulations of the Vietnamese Government, foreign governments and international organisations such as the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

In particular, crewmembers and passengers will have their body temperature checked before boarding and wear masks during flights. Crewmembers will be equipped with full-body medical protective suits. After landing in Vietnam, aircraft will be sprayed with disinfectant while crewmembers will be isolated to enhance the efficiency of the pandemic fight.

Comprehensive coordination procedures needed

To assist airlines in reopening international flights, Vietnam Airlines wants the Government to set up a unit to work with ministries, agencies and localities on a set of coordination procedures among agencies, airlines and passengers.

On such basis, the carrier proposed that ministries and agencies’ regulations should be simple, clear and easy to understand, covering all fields so that authorities, airlines and passengers could follow consistently.

“In particular, the quarantine process must ensure that passengers do not bring germs to the community while procedures should be fast, simple and convenient to avoid cases when passengers have demand but hesitate to fly due to complicated procedures”, the representative said.

Apart from ensuring safety in all stages, from ground to flight services, Vietnam Airlines suggested airports build and maintain safe environment there so that passengers could travel at ease via regulations such as keeping minimum distance and taking health protection measures to mitigate infection risks.

Regarding safety guarantee when it comes to reopening six international commercial flights, Minister-Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung told a press conference following the regular Government meeting on September 4 that the reopening of flights to countries with controlled pandemic stems from demand of international markets and countries. It should be done with caution and gradual steps, he said.

Airlines ready for reopening of international routes hinh anh 2Medical quarantine staff check body temperatures at Noi Bai International Airport (Photo:VietnamPlus)

Deputy Minister of Health Truong Quoc Cuong said the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control reported to the Prime Minister that international routes will resume on September 15 and plans were thoroughly discussed to ensure people’s safety.

“As quarantine measures have been carefully calculated, we believe that after opening flights, we will both ensure the safety of passengers and development, thus preventing economic disruptions”, Cuong said./.