|An aircraft of the national carrier Vietnam Airlines. Illustrative Photo|
HÀ NỘI — Vietnamese airlines have to temporarily postpone the resumption of air routes to China until late April or May to wait for China’s next decisions about the allowance of its tourists to Việt Nam, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Việt Nam (CAAV).
In mid-February, China announced the reopening of tours to 20 countries, excluding Việt Nam, which is said to have affected Vietnamese airlines’ flight plans.
Earlier, after China had lifted restrictions on regular international flights on January 8, 2023, Vietnamese carriers have made plans on flights to this country, with a focus on passengers on business trips, those visiting relatives, and students studying abroad, so as to prepare for the recovery of bilateral tourism. The number of flights was expected to gradually increase from April.
However, due to China’s new policy, airlines of Việt Nam have to temporarily postpone the resumption until late April or May depending on the next decisions from China, according to the CAAV.
In 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, there were 14 airlines of Việt Nam and China operating air routes between the two countries.
Among them, 11 Chinese carriers operated 32 air routes from 14 destinations in China to five in Việt Nam, with a total of 240 flights each way per week. Three Vietnamese carriers (Vietnam Airlines, Jetstar Pacific Airlines, and Vietjet Air) operated 72 air routes from five destinations in Việt Nam to 48 in China, with 421 flights per week in total.
Carriers transported nearly 8 million passengers in 2019, including over 4.6 million passengers or more than 60 per cent by Vietnamese airlines. China was the second biggest foreign market of Vietnamese airlines, after the Republic of Korea, and most passengers were tourists, data from the CAAV show. — VNS