After a 20-month long border closure, Vietnam is lifting border barriers on January 1. Vietnam will initially open its air borders to fully vaccinated travelers from select countries in a phased reopening. As a result, Vietnamese airlines are selling international flights.
Vietnamese airlines cautiously resume international flights
Vietnamese authorities allow the resumption of international flights from the United States, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore and Cambodia from January 1. Initially, Vietnamese airlines can fly four times a week on routes to these countries.
Several other countries, including South Korea, China, Laos and Thailand, are set to restore air links with Vietnam.
Hanoi-based VietJet will resume scheduled international flights from January 1, 2022. VietJet plans to operate flights connecting Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City to Tokyo (Narita), Seoul, Taipei, Singapore and Bangkok from the start. January 2022.
Initially, VietJet will operate one round-trip flight per week on its international routes. The low-cost carrier will pick up the pace when demand warrants it. VietJet also confirms that its new Airbus A330-300 will appear on international flights in the coming months.
Bamboo Airways and Vietnam Airlines resume operations
Bamboo Airways offers regular flights between Hanoi and Tokyo and Hanoi and Taipei. The airline flies Hanoi – Tokyo every Tuesday in January and Hanoi – Taipei every Wednesday.
“Bamboo Airways has officially opened the sale of Hanoi – Taipei and Hanoi – Tokyo routes to meet the travel needs of Vietnamese to study, work, etc.” notes the airline on its website.
National carrier Vietnam Airlines has scheduled flights to Tokyo in early January as well as flights between Ho Chi Minh and Phnom Penh and Ho Chi Minh and San Francisco.
Vietnam Airlines has maintained some international flights throughout the pandemic. This was primarily to get essential freight and travelers in and out of the country. A look at their international calendar online says they will fly between Ho Chi Minh City and Narita every Saturday from January 1 and Hanoi and Narita every Thursday and Sunday.
The Hanoi – Seoul sector is served every Thursday, and two flights a week are scheduled between Hanoi and Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City and Bangkok, respectively. One-off flights in January to Frankfurt, London and Phnom Penh are also planned.
Stay informed: Register for our daily and weekly summaries of aviation news.
Vietnam – US flights attract interest
However, it is the flights between Vietnam and the United States that are attracting the most interest.
Vietnam Airlines and Bamboo Airways have long fueled US flight ambitions. To date, Vietnam is one of the few countries in Asia that does not have non-stop connections with the United States. A variety of factors are behind this, including Vietnam which only achieved an FAA Category 1 rating in early 2019.
The slowdown in travel and the closure of Vietnam’s borders halted both airlines’ plans to open US air routes following this 2019 decision. Since then, Vietnam Airlines and Bamboo Airways have started flying to the States -United. The former has even stepped up its operations to prove that it can be done. However, airlines will be eager to serve more passengers across the Pacific after reopening.
With thousands of citizens fleeing Ukraine, India has launched an airlift operation to bring them home.
About the Author