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Vietnam Airlines conducts first routine international flight since pandemic

For the first time in six months, Vietnam Airlines' first routine international commercial flight took off from Hanoi on September 19 morning, heading to Japan.

Flight VN310 marked the beginning of the resumption of regular flights to a number of selected countries in Asia since planes were grounded back in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Onboard were Vietnamese trainees, workers, and experts heading back to Tokyo to continue their studies and work after months of disruption.

It also carried a number of Japanese citizens heading home.

All 60 passengers boarding the Vietnam Airlines flight had to present a mandatory proof of a negative coronavirus tests (PCR diagnostics) issued three days before the flight, declare their travel history in the 14 days prior and download contract tracing apps as per health protocols set by the host country.

The flight crew will all undergo health examinations and be quarantined when they returned to Vietnam.

Vietnam Airlines is set to organise two more flights from Hanoi to Tokyo on September 25 and 30, and one from HCM City to Tokyo on September 30.

Budget carrier Vietjet has also announced resumption of flights to Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Taiwan (China) starting September 29.

International flights to and from Vietnam were grounded late March after the Government imposed border closures against all foreign entries.

Since then, Vietnamese airlines only carried out a number of irregular flights to repatriate Vietnamese citizens overseas or bring in a limited number of foreign investors, highly skilled workers, experts, business managers, diplomats.

Recently, the Vietnamese Government decided to reopen international flights to six Asian destinations – Japan, the RoK, mainland China, Taiwan (China), Cambodia, and Laos – all important partners and deemed to be epidemiologically safe, as the country aims to balance COVID-19 prevention with economic development./.