According to Hoang Dinh Thang, the Chairman of the Union of Vietnamese People Associations in Europe, Vietnamese expats in Europe are hoping that authorities on both sides would work together to resume international flights, allowing them to visit relatives back home.
Viet expats in Europe long for international flights to Vietnam
The resumption of international flights to Vietnam will also help to improve commerce, tourism, and investment between Vietnam and European nations, rebuild the economy, and restore normalcy, Thang said in an interview with the media following a recent trial plan to that effect.
It is critical to do so after two years of shutdown due to COVID-19, he said, adding that communities of Vietnamese expats in Europe desire to travel home for family reunions for the traditional New Year, Vietnam’s most significant event.
He said that the EU-Vietnam Free Commerce Agreement (EVFTA), which went into force two years ago, has yet to be fully implemented owing to travel limitations caused by the pandemic, so the action will pave the way for boosting bilateral trade, investment, and tourism.
Similarly to Thang, Le Anh Hung, the Managing Director of Bien Dong Travel Services Trading Investment Co., Ltd., stated that there are a large number of Vietnamese expats looking to fly home, particularly ahead of the holiday; additionally, it has been simple for visitors fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with two vaccine shots to travel to countries within the European Union.
He expressed his joy at the Government of Vietnam’s intention of resuming international flights as soon as possible, and stated that he expects Vietnamese authorities to offer precise instructions for the policy’s proper execution.
International flights from Vietnam to 7 countries, territories to resume
According to the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV), seven countries and territories – the United States, Japan, Singapore, Cambodia, Thailand, Taiwan (China), and the Republic of Korea (RoK) – have largely agreed with Vietnam’s request to resume regular international flights to Vietnam.
According to the authority’s statistics, there were 64 flights transporting 7,847 people to Vietnam in the first seven days after resuming normal international flights on January 1.
There are 18 commercial flights, 25 “combo” flights, and 21 flights for experts and tourists.
According to a spokesperson of the national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines, regular commercial flights to Vietnam have resumed from the United States (4 flights per week), Japan (3), the Republic of Korea (2), Taiwan (1), Singapore (2), Thailand (2), and Cambodia (4).
Vietnam Airlines intends to resume flight operations to Australia in order to meet the growing demand of Vietnamese expats in Australia looking to return home for the Lunar New Year (Tet) celebration, as well as to avoid market domination by foreign airlines operating via other gateways.
The Ministry of Transport has requested that the Government direct relevant ministries and sectors to manage COVID-19 prevention and control measures for international arrivals, such as RT-PRC testing, health declarations, and vaccination passports.
The CAAV will continue to closely monitor the pilot phase of the plan’s implementation and promote negotiations with aviation authorities of countries and territories deploying the plan in order to resume regular international flights with Vietnam and increase the frequency of flights in suitable conditions as soon as possible.
Le Anh Tuan, Deputy Minister of Transport, has asked the CAAV to work urgently with Australia’s aviation authority to be ready for the restoration of regular international flights between the two countries, as well as to consider Vietnamese citizens’ demand for returning home, proposing specific destinations and exploitation frequency.