Vietnamese citizens in Malaysia prepared to board the repatriation flight back to Việt Nam on Monday. — VNA/VNS Photo Mạnh Tuân
HÀ NỘI — A total of 54 repatriation flights have been planned within the last two months of 2020 to bring home around 17,000 Vietnamese stranded overseas as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the Civil Aviation Authority of Việt Nam, four domestic airlines will be conducting the flights – with more than half of them, 32 flights, by the flag carrier Vietnam Airlines, 12 by the budget carrier Vietjet Air, five by Bamboo Airways and five by Pacific Airlines.
Seven repatriation flights are planned to bring back Vietnamese citizens from North America in November-December, including four from the US and three from Canada.
All of the seven flights have been or would be carried out by Vietnam Airlines with the total seats of 2,485.
Sixteen flights are slated to return Vietnamese from European countries – including three from France (with 1,029 seats), four from Russia (with 1,319 seats), two from the UK (with 686 seats), two from Germany (686 seats), one from Romania (343 seats), five from other European countries such as Czech or Netherlands, and three other flights with to-be-determined departure locations with total seats of 1,709.
For Vietnamese citizens stranded in Southeast Asian countries, 14 repatriation flights are in the works, including five from Singapore with capacity of 1,300 seats; four with 960 seats from Malaysia – with two by Vietnam Airlines, one by Vietjet, and one by Pacific Airlines; three from Brunei with total seats of 823 and three from the Philippines with 720 seats.
For people in the Oceania, Vietnam Airlines will organise three flights with 1,029 seats departing from Australia’s Melbourne and Sydney, while Bamboo Airways are slated to also have two repatriation flights with capacity of 686 passengers.
Other citizens in other Asian countries can also return home on a flight departing from Hong Kong (343 seats), one from Taiwan (343 seats), three from Japan (1,029 seats), one from South Korea (343 seats), and one from India (343 seats).
In addition, the airlines also conduct one repatriation flight from the UAE (343 seats), one from Angola (343 seats), and one from Israel (343 seats) within the last two months of the year.
The aviation authority noted that these are just early schedule and those who want to return home should regularly follow updated information from the aviation authority, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and airlines to get more accurate flight schedule and relevant information.
Children under 18 years old, elderly with illnesses, pregnant women, workers with expired labour contracts, students who have completed their studies, or stranded tourists and other people who are in severely disadvantaged circumstances are first in line in the application for the flights, according to a PM's instruction.
Previously, this agency also warned against frauds regarding repatriation flights, mostly to do with scam emails claiming to offer repatriation tickets from airlines or Vietnamese diplomatic missions overseas but the depositing bank accounts are all personal ones based in Việt Nam.
The sham tickets are priced at about VNĐ10-20 million (US$430-865) and the scammers demanded that the customer pay the bill within three days to secure a seat on the flight.
Civil Aviation Authority of Việt Nam has asked the Department of Economic Security under the Ministry of Public Security to verify these fraud reports and take measures to put an end to these deleterious acts. — VNS