Vietnam Airlines began carrying passengers meeting immigration and health requirements to Vietnam on flights from London, Paris and Frankfurt after initially announcing it would suspend flights between Europe and Vietnam in an attempt to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
Previously, the carrier announced on March 14 that its flights from London, Paris and Frankfurt to Vietnam would not carry passengers.
The move follows the Vietnamese government’s decision to suspend entry for visitors coming or passing through the UK and Schengen countries within 14 days of arrival after the World Health Organization (WHO) said that Europe was now the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic. The airline has since reversed its decision “after long discussions with local authorities”.
The airline said only passengers who meet immigration and health requirements can board return flights to Vietnam. Body temperature checks as well as “maintenance” are mandatory for all passengers to ensure that they meet all the health requirements to re-enter and enter Vietnam.
Passengers are also required to wear face masks and gloves throughout flights. The airline added that they will be “subject to continuous in-flight health surveillance” and will be quarantined for 14 days after landing in Vietnam.
On board, Vietnam Airlines said it had equipped the entire flight crew with specialized medical protective clothing. Only drinks and dry snacks will be served.
The airline also said the flights would land at “predetermined airports in Vietnam after Vietnam Airlines made an official decision with the relevant authorities.”
The airline said it would waive all itinerary change fees for passengers who have already purchased tickets.
Business trip Asia-Pacific has asked the airline until when flights from the three European cities to Vietnam will operate.