Vietnam Airlines will suspend all flights between Vietnam and South Korea from March 5 as authorities battle the spread of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. The announcement comes after Vietnamese low-cost airline Bamboo Airways suspended operation of two routes – Da Nang to Incheon and Nha Trang to Incheon – from February 26 to March 28.
According to a statement from Vietnam Airlines on Monday evening, flights to Vietnam’s two largest international airports, Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City and Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, will fly to instead on March 3 and 4 to three alternative airports: Can Tho International Airport in the south, Quang Ninh Van Don International Airport in the north, and Phu Cat Airport in the south-central coastal province of Binh Dinh. The flag carrier, which currently operates flights from Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang and Nha Trang to Seoul in addition to flights from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to Busan, said it would resume flights.” as soon as the situation permits.” .” Meanwhile, cargo flights from South Korea may land at Noi Bai and Tan Son Nhat International, the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) said.
The move follows a directive last week from Vietnam’s prime minister to reroute flights from areas affected by Covid-19 in South Korea. Vietnam has also banned travelers from other coronavirus-affected regions in Japan, Italy and Iran from entering the country. From March 3, the country will no longer grant Italian travelers visa-free entry to Vietnam while South Korean nationals had their visa waiver program suspended on February 29. While flights to and from mainland China, including transit flights, have remained suspended since February Since January 1, authorities have continued to allow flights to and from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. Meanwhile, Vietnam and China have decided to reopen several land routes, including Quang Ninh, Lai Chau, Lao Cai, Lang Son and Ha Giang, to resume cross-border trade.
As Vietnam said its 16th and final Covid-19 patient had recovered, authorities advised Vietnamese citizens not to travel to affected areas. As part of precautionary measures, a field hospital near Tan Son Nhat International Airport opened on March 3 to quarantine Vietnamese travelers returning from coronavirus-hit countries. As of Tuesday, authorities suspect another 77 people have contracted the virus while 15,374 people are being monitored, the Vietnamese government said.