According to Vietnam Airlines, the national airline has operated 12 flights bringing Vietnamese citizens from the United States home since May 2020 due to travel restrictions triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
No more flights of this type from the United States have been available since last August, because the quota set by the American authorities has been reached, despite the huge demand from the Vietnamese to the United States to return home. For this reason, Vietnam Airlines is considering applying for authorization for repatriation flights in the form of regular commercial flights.
With the latest forecast that it will take at least until 2023 for the aviation industry to return to pre-pandemic levels in 2019, Vietnam Airlines is hoping the move will help it increase revenue and reduce losses. caused by COVID-19.
The plan will unfold in two phases. In the first phase, the carrier will perform flights as regular commercial services, serving the repatriation of Vietnamese to the United States, and the demand for travel between the two countries among diplomats, officials, experts, men of business, students and relatives of foreigners.
Based on the assessment of the resumption of air transport between the two countries after the pandemic has been brought under control, Vietnam Airlines will continue its plan on the second phase which is for commercial purposes. The second phase is expected to start in 2022.
In 2019, Vietnam received a Category 1 aviation safety rating from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the United States Department of Transportation, which allows Vietnamese carriers to establish direct services to the United States.