The Director-General of Vietnam’s Civil Aviation Authority has revealed that it has proposed to the Ministry of Transport the resumption of flights to Japan and South Korea. Such a proposal recommends having eight flights per week in and out of the said countries.
Most of the foreign visitors that would come to Vietnam each year came from both countries. Vietnam has also established good relations in trade and tourism with both Japan and South Korea. Thus, by offering several flights to both countries, the Vietnam government is hoping to revive its economy, which was badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
As per the discussion with South Korea and Japan, Vietnam carriers commit to operating two flights to each destination. Each of their airline partners from both countries will also operate two flights in and out of Vietnam.
However, the Director-General stated that they must first get the approval of some relevant agencies in Vietnam to make this plan a possibility. Before any of these International flights can resume, they must first get clearance from the Ministry of National Defense and the Ministry of Health. This is to ensure the proper handling of issues concerning pandemic control and quarantine measures. Furthermore, the Director-General added that if this proposal will be approved, they would immediately authorize the airlines to start selling tickets for these destinations.
Local airlines in Vietnam will be launching International flights anytime soon. Their South Korean and Japanese partners are also hoping to connect with Vietnam by launching weekly flights to the country.
Today, September 1st, Vietnam’s Ministry of Transport is scheduled to meet with some agencies and local authorities to discuss the possible resumption of international flights.
When the coronavirus pandemic started in March, Vietnam has decided to cease all commercial flights in and out of the country. A few airlines were allowed to operate, however, most of them will only cater to cargo and other essential activities.
Some flights that carry passengers going to Vietnam were also deployed as per the authorization of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. These flights prioritize certain groups of passengers, including those who are facing difficulties, highly skilled workers, experts, and other essential workers. All arriving passengers will be subjected to a mandatory quarantine.
Last August 29, the office of the Prime Minister has released the conclusion of the governmental meeting, which was held last week. It involves the steps that the government has taken in order to control the spread of Covid-19. According to the report, the Ministry of Transport was tasked by the Prime Minister to authorize the departure of Vietnamese workers who have work contracts in South Korea and Japan.
Both Vietnam and Japan are part of the bilateral trade known as the bilateral Vietnam – Japan Economic Partnership Agreement. The countries are also members of the multilateral ASEAN – Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, which explains the many Japanese investments all over Vietnam.
The bilateral trade between these two countries has generated US$ 33.43 billion in 2017, which is a 12 percent increase compared to 2016. Imports coming from Japan have grown to 10% while exports have also increased by 14%. Vietnam imports industrial goods, machinery, and several raw materials from Japan. In addition, Vietnam also imports clothing materials, pharmaceuticals, and petroleum products.
In the aspect of tourism, Japanese nationals are among the top foreign visitors of Vietnam. In 2019, more than 900,000 Japanese citizens have visited Vietnam. Given this, it just makes sense why Vietnam should consider the resumption of flights to Japan any time soon, not to mention the fact that Japan has handled the pandemic quite well.
Vietnam has also established good relations with South Korea in terms of trade and tourism. In 2019, both countries agree to increase bilateral trade to US$100 billion in 2020. This comes after South Korea revealed plans to move away from trade with China and will instead focus on Vietnam. Because of this, there are now several South Korean companies operating in Vietnam.
Samsung is one of the biggest companies that have direct foreign investments with Vietnam. Lotte, one of the biggest department stores chain in South Korea, has closed some of its branches in China since they were not able to generate enough profit. Thus, the company is now considering opening more stores in Vietnam.
When it comes to tourism, South Koreans are among the top visitors of Vietnam, next to China. Last year, there were more than four million South Koreans who came to the country. So if Vietnam decides to resume flights to South Korea, there’s a good chance that the country’s tourism economy will be revived.
📣📣📣The Vietnamese government is still suspending entry into Vietnam to all foreigners, including people with a Vietnamese visa exemption certificate. Only Vietnamese nationals, foreigners on diplomatic or official business, and highly skilled workers are allowed to enter the country at this time.
💔 Till now, The Vietnamese government is still suspending entry into Vietnam to all foreigners. [Vietnam – Republic of Korea] Flights operating on the Ho Chi Minh City-Incheon route will depart at 23:10 beginning from June 3 and will run two flights per week throughout June.
Vietnam’s immigration offices reopened 23 April 2020, foreigners in Vietnam now can apply for visa extension and visa renewal normally. On 13 May 2020, Vietnam has approved the reopening of sub-border gates and border crossings in Lang Son and Quang Ninh provinces connecting with China to ease trade between the two countries.