Flight attendant talks about Vietnam Airlines’ repatriation flight from Equatorial Guinea hinh anh 1Flight attendant Nguyen Huu Trung (Photo: Nguyen Huu Trung)

Hanoi (VNA)
- In an exclusive interview with the Vietnam News Agency, flight attendant Nguyen Huu Trung shared his experience of working at the section for passengers who tested positive for the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 during the flight.

Working with Vietnam Airlines for 10 years and joining several flights carrying Vietnamese citizens home from the US, the Republic of Korea, and Japan since the coronavirus disease hit the world, Trung said: “Smiles of the passengers and their thankful nods freed me from tiredness after a long journey to Equatorial Guinea.”

It is not reckless

Reporter: What are your feelings after returning from the repatriation flight from Equatorial Guinea?

Nguyen Huu Trung: The crew and I are proud. Before the flight, we were worried about the health of COVID-19 infected passengers due to long flight duration. However, no serious issues took place and we landed safely.

Reporter: What came to your mind when you saw first passengers get aboard?

Nguyen Huu Trung: The first passengers had tested negative for the virus. They carried photos of the late President Ho Chi Minh and Vietnam’s national flags. I was moved by their happiness.

Following them were those with positive test results, who looked more tired and quiet. I told them that they would soon be home. Smiles of the passengers and their thankful nods freed me from tiredness after a long journey to Equatorial Guinea.

Reporter: What did crewmembers care most about during the flight?

Nguyen Huu Trung: It was the wellbeing of both passengers and crewmembers. Disease prevention and control measures were given the top priority. Trained properly on such measures before taking off and guided by doctors aboard during the flight, we felt more secure.

Reporter: You worked in the high-risk section for COVID-19-positive passengers, was it a reckless action?

Nguyen Huu Trung: No. I did it on behalf of the thousands of flight attendants who care for special passengers who need encouragement to feel more secure.

That’s why I wanted to work in this section.

Reporter: Was there any special notices for this section? What were measures applied to limit the possibility of infection?

Nguyen Huu Trung: We were equipped with protective gear in line with standards set by the Health Ministry, and the doctors carried ventilators with them.

Flight services were adjusted, with two meals placed already at passengers’ seats and each passengers’ section separated by plastic curtains. There was also a special room with purified air for crewmembers to eat and drink when needed, as we rarely took off our facemasks.

“We live, brothers!”

Reporter: What was unforgettable to you from the experience?

Nguyen Huu Trung: The sound of passengers’ clapping and the joyful shouting of “We live, brothers”, and their thanks to the Vietnam Airlines when we landed. We cried proudly and happily.

Reporter: What about the quarantine after the flight?

Nguyen Huu Trung: We did it at the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases, which offered us good conditions and care just like home.

Flight attendant talks about Vietnam Airlines’ repatriation flight from Equatorial Guinea hinh anh 2Face-mask impressions on Trung’s face after the 37-hour flight (Photo: Nguyen Huu Trung)

Reporter: What would be if you got infected?

Nguyen Huu Trung: I was ready for the flight and any situations that could arise. We believe in Vietnamese doctors. Hung, a doctor abroad, told us we would receive the best treatment from the hospital if we caught the virus.

Reporter: How many repatriation flights have you participated in?

Nguyen Huu Trung: I joined those to the US, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Equatorial Guinea.

Reporter: What do you currently hope for?

Nguyen Huu Trung: I hope the entire crew will soon receive negative test results and all passengers will be home and in good health.

Thank you!

 Nguyen Huu Trung, born in 1988, began working for the Vietnam Airlines in 2010. He is a flight attendant serving business class.
 The Vietnam Airlines crew on the flight to Equatorial Guinea consists of five pilots, eight male flight attendants, and two ground technicians. They are joined by two doctors and two caregivers from the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases.

The plane is divided into three sections, with people testing positive for the virus seated in a separated section. 

All passengers wear protective suits throughout the flight.