Covid cloud turbulence as Vietnam seeks links to key tourism markets

Covid cloud turbulence as Vietnam seeks links to key tourism markets

Passengers at Noi Bai Airport in Hanoi, April 29, 2022. Photograph by VnExpress/Dinh Quang

The Vietnamese aviation business is struggling to revive pre-pandemic frequency of worldwide flights to key tourism markets as a number of retain robust entry insurance policies, officers says.

Dinh Viet Thang, head of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam, stated at a Tuesday convention that the business has seen optimistic indicators within the first half of this yr after most Covid restrictions had been lifted.

Nonetheless, the frequency of worldwide routes to key tourism markets akin to China and South Korea stays restricted as these nations nonetheless impose strict entry Covid restrictions, Thang stated.

China, which accounted for 32 p.c of whole overseas arrivals earlier than the pandemic, has persevered with its zero-Covid coverage; due to this fact, common flights between the 2 nations are solely allowed to function at a frequency of two per week.

Sophisticated entry rules in South Korea have additionally restricted the frequency of flights from Vietnam to the Northeast Asian nation.

“By this year-end, the aviation business plans to renew full frequency on routes to Taiwan, Japan and South Korea whereas these between Vietnam and China ought to get well to round 30 p.c of pre-pandemic ranges,” Thang stated.

In response to a CAAV report, Vietnam has resumed flights to and from 22 nations and territories out of the 28 it had operated throughout pre-pandemic instances.

Le Hong Ha, CEO of Vietnam Airways, instructed VnExpress Worldwide the national flag provider has resumed 35 worldwide routes to fifteen nations and territories, equal to 53 p.c of pre-pandemic ranges.

It has not but resumed flights to China and Myanmar whereas common flights to Russia stay suspended as a result of warfare towards Ukraine.

Ha stated the restoration of the worldwide market is basically essential to the national provider, as common worldwide routes accounted for 65 p.c of its income earlier than the pandemic.

“The provider hopes to revive the whole worldwide flight community to pre-pandemic stage by the tip of subsequent yr, relying on nations’ reopening coverage,” he added.

Aviation officers anticipate the variety of worldwide passengers going by way of Vietnamese airports this yr to achieve 10 million, or round 24 p.c of pre-pandemic ranges.

On March 15 the federal government allowed quarantine-free entry and resumed its visa waiver for residents of 24 nations, together with Japan, South Korea and a few European ones.

It has eliminated most entry restrictions like medical declaration and Covid exams.