International visitors with vaccine passports arrive at Vân Đồn International Airport in Quảng Ninh Province last September. — VNA/VNS Photo
HÀ NỘI — The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) will decide on the frequency of domestic flights to meet the travel demand during the upcoming Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday, under a document signed by Deputy Minister of Transport Lê Anh Tuấn.
The CAAV was requested to ensure traffic safety and order as well as follow COVID-19 prevention and control regulations during the largest and longest festival, which sees peak demand as people visit their families.
According to the CAAV, from December 29, 2021, to January 10, 2022, Vietnamese airlines operated 4,480 flights, transporting more than 547,000 passengers with an average occupancy rate of 64 per cent.
Passenger demand on the HCM City – Hà Nội route and from HCM City to/from the Central Highlands, central and northern localities during that period increased sharply with seat occupancy topping 70 per cent. Carriers fully used the number of flights allotted.
According to a report from the airlines’ booking system, the percentage of passengers registering for seats on routes between HCM City and Hà Nội and from HCM City to/from the Central Highlands, central and northern provinces has increased remarkably, exceeding earlier predictions.
Tuy Hòa Airport may be eligible to receive international flights
Tuy Hòa Airport in the central province of Phú Yên has not yet met the requirements to receive international flights despite its recent infrastructure upgrade, according to the Transport Ministry.
Due to the limited area of the arrival terminal at the airport, the area for rapid COVID-19 testing service cannot be arranged within the terminal.
Meanwhile, due to the pandemic in Việt Nam, especially control of new virus strains, passengers of international flights must take rapid COVID-19 tests before and after boarding.
Moreover, the air route to and from Tuy Hòa airport is a domestic airline not yet eligible to accept international flights.
A document signed by the Deputy Transport Minister Lê Tuấn Anh said that Tuy Hòa airport had runways, taxiways and aircraft aprons that meet requirements to receive A320/A321 and equivalent aircraft.
The passenger terminal at the airport was put into operation in August 2013 with a capacity of 550,000 passengers per year. Currently, only Vietnamese airlines operate routes from Hà Nội and HCM City to Tuy Hòa and vice versa.
According to the report of the Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV), in 2018, ACV directed Tuy Hòa Airport to renovate the domestic passenger terminal line serving international flights. The renovation was completed in January 2020.
However, due to the outbreak of the pandemic in early 2020, specialised state management agencies have not carried out the required examination and assessment. Therefore, the terminal has not got approval from agencies such as Customs, Immigration Police and Health Quarantine on the process of serving international passengers.
Late last month, Phú Yên Province People’s Committee asked the Ministry of Transport for approval to receive international flights at its Tuy Hòa airport to bring Vietnamese citizens home from Japan.
The committee also proposed the ministry coordinate with agencies to help conduct customs clearance procedures for international flights repatriating Vietnamese citizens from Japan through the airport.
Since the beginning of 2020, the provincial government had initiated efforts to prepare to receive repatriation flights at the airport and ask the department, relevant units and the airport to complete essential tasks to receive international flights.
With the support of the ministry and Vietnam Airlines Corporation, preparations to receive international flights at Tuy Hòa airport had been completed to date, the provincial government added. — VNS