Aircraft Park at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, October 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy
In preparation for fully reopening inbound and outbound tourism by late March, Vietnam's aviation industry officially resumed regular flights to all markets from Tuesday without restrictions on frequency.
The Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV) started ending restrictions on the frequency of international flights to and from all markets, marking the first time after more than two years Vietnam has fully restarted international flights.
However, CAAV said the resumption of regular flights still needs the approval of markets that had direct flights to Vietnam before the pandemic since each country has different pandemic prevention requirements.
After receiving a response from these markets, Vietnamese aviation officials will grant flight permits for domestic and foreign airlines to bring passengers in and out of Vietnam based on airline demand.
On Jan. 1, the government allowed the resumption of regular commercial flights to and from Bangkok, Beijing or Guangzhou, Phnom Penh, San Francisco, Singapore, Seoul, Taipei, Tokyo, and Vientiane.
So far, only China has not yet agreed to resume flights to Vietnam as the country of more than 1.4 billion people pursues its zero-Covid policy.
Late last month, Vietnamese airlines began resuming flights to Australia and Europe, bringing dozens of thousands of overseas Vietnamese home during Lunar New Year, or Tet.
Following the removal of restrictions on international flights, Vietnamese carriers have begun announcing plans to resume its international network.
A Bamboo Airways spokesperson said the carrier has operated flights from Hanoi to Narita, Taipei and Incheon and plans to resume flights to Thailand and Singapore next month.
It also mulls reopening more flights to Laos and Cambodia during the peak travel summer season.
Bamboo Airways has started selling tickets for flights from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to Australia, Germany and the U.K.
Vietnam Airlines has restored regular flights to 15 countries and territories with the frequency of one to two weekly flights to Europe and four-five flights a week to Asian destinations.
It also plans to resume flights to Malaysia next month.
Budget airline Vietjet Air began flying to Japan, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan from Jan. 1 with one weekly flight on each of these routes and plans to increase the frequency to four-five flights a week.
Vietjet Air is also working with relevant agencies to prepare for the resumption of flights to India and Russia.
Under current entry regulations, fully vaccinated people and those who have recovered from Covid-19 arriving in Vietnam only need to self-isolate for three days.
Everyone, except children below two, must have tested negative for the novel coronavirus using the PCR method within 72 hours before departure.
According to CAAV, foreign passengers could produce Covid vaccine passports or other documents that prove they have been fully vaccinated.
Vietnam closed its borders and grounded international flights in March 2020, allowing in only citizens, foreign experts, investors, and highly-skilled workers entering on special flights.