Making news

Bamboo Airways carries European citizens home

The first direct flight between Vietnam and the Czech Republic, operated by Bamboo Airways on March 25, carried 204 Czech and 82 other European passengers home and tens of tonnes of medical equipment and materials to support COVID-19 prevention and control in the European country.

The flight departed from Hanoi at 8:20am and arrived in Prague at 2:30pm (local time).

The cargo included 64,200 face masks, among others, as gifts to the Czech government and people from the Vietnam – Czech Republic Friendship Association and companies.

Bamboo Airways used a wide-body Boeing 78709 Dreamliner for the flight.

The same day, the Czech News Agency CTK quoted the country’s Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek as saying that it is the first repatriation flight coordinated at the European level amid the pandemic.

Also on March 25, the CTK quoted Honorary Chairman of the Czech Republic – Vietnam Friendship Association Marcel Winter as saying that the Vietnamese community is the only in the Czech Republic supporting hospitals, rescue teams and people financially in the fight against the epidemic.

He said their actions show they really consider the European nation as their second home.

A youth organisation named “Vietup” has launched a campaign to make face masks to hand over to hospitals in Prague.

According to Vietup, a number of Vietnamese convenience stores across the country with heart-shaped logos are also providing beverages and snacks for doctors, public security and firefighting forces for free.

In the northern city of Usti nad Labem, the Vietnamese community has raised funds to purchase ventilators for Masaryk hospital.

Meanwhile, the Czech newswire on March 24 published an article lauding the Vietnamese community for showing solidarity with their hosts during tough times.

It said Vietnamese people at the SAPA commercial centre in Prague has deployed volunteers and sewing machines to produce hundreds of face masks to present to local authorities and people each day.

The author expressed his appreciation for the Vietnamese people’s acts amid the shortage of face masks there, adding that it’s why national and local news agencies such as Mlada Fronta Dnes and Lidove Noviny are running stories highlighting their solidarity with their hosts.

The Vietnamese community is now the third largest minority group in the Czech Republic.