International flights should be reopened immediately, say experts

November, 11/2021 - 14:28
Economic and transportation experts have agreed that it is high time for Việt Nam to reopen international flight routes and gave their suggestions on how they should be managed post-pandemic at a webinar on Wednesday.

 

The Ministry of Transport proposed a plan to reopen international flights, that will see benefits in business and tourism. VNA/VNS Photo  

HÀ NỘI — Economic and transportation experts have agreed that it is high time for Việt Nam to reopen international flight routes and gave their suggestions on how they should be managed post-pandemic at a webinar on Wednesday.

Addresing the event, titled “How to reopen international flights safely”, deputy head of the Civil Aviation Authority of Việt Nam (CAAV) Võ Huy Cường said that it has been two years since Việt Nam halted international flights. “But as countries around the world are opening flights, Việt Nam cannot be left out,” Cường added.

“The current Ministry of Transport’s plan to reopen regular international flights is realistic and has learned from other countries’ experiences,” claimed Cường. He also suggested the aviation industry continue the rescue flights so as to rebuild the trust for international guests.

“Reopening flights is crucial after a long time of closure,” said Nguyễn Quang Trung, head of the Planning & Development Department of Vietnam Airlines. Trung commented that the CAAV’s flight reopening roadmap reported to the MoT is appropriate, and that airlines should prioritise flights from countries with good COVID-19 control, such as South Korea, Japan and the US.

“Việt Nam will offer full support for international guests with vaccine passports,” said CAAV's deputy head Cường. He also said that vaccine passports were one of the most important conditions for international flights to commence, and Việt Nam was actively working with international organisations to build a common standard and software for vaccine passports, recognised by other countries.

In airport management, Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân, deputy director of Nội Bài International Airport, said that Nội Bài is always ready to reopen. The airport and its employees would do their best to ensure a safe environment for guests.

“The fear of foreign guests entering and causing outbreaks is an overreaction,” said economic expert Trần Thọ Đạt. He sees the reopening of flights reasonable, and that international guests are vaccinated and tested safely, they cannot “overload hospitals” like some fear.

Trung from Vietnam Airlines suggested that the government revisit the 7-day quarantine rule, since it could discourage tourists. “Vietnam Airlines suggests that fully vaccinated tourists in safe countries, with negative test results pre- and post-flight should only be quarantined for one day,” said Trung.

Talking about tourism, Deputy Chief of the Việt Nam National Administration of Tourism Nguyễn Lê Phúc said that the tourism industry is ready to welcome tourists and rebuild. The tourism industry is planning to reopen international tourism, and will look to collaborate with other government agencies in making tourism safe.

On Monday, Deputy Minister of Transport Lê Anh Tuấn proposed to the Prime Minister on reopening regular international flights.

The ministry recommends that, in order to reopen international flights, guests entering Việt Nam should have negative PCR tests, and must do health declarations at destination airports.

Regular international flights to Việt Nam will resume in three phases. Phase One, from the first quarter of 2022, will include flights without guest approval, except circumstances when medical control is needed. Phase Two will organise regular flights for guests with “vaccine passports” from the second quarter of 2022, and these guests will not be put in quarantine centres.

Phase Three, starting from 2022’s third quarter, will see regular international flights depending on the pandemic and vaccine situation. Flight frequency will be determined by airlines. — VNS

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