The Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam has proposed to the Ministry of Transport for permission from 5th May 2020 to increase the frequency to 52 round-trips/day for the Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh City route; 20 round-trips/day for the Hanoi - Da Nang route; 20 round-trips/day for flights from Ho Chi Minh City to Da Nang. Regarding other routes, the increase in frequency will be based on the needs of airlines. In particular, the Department proposed that from June 1, 2020, airlines would operate domestic and international flights normally according to the allocated flight schedule. Along with the proposal to increase the frequency of flights, the Aviation Administration of Vietnam also proposed to remove all regulations on seat spacing on aircraft so that carriers can transport passengers according to the aircraft's configuration, starting from 5th May 2020.
Previously, after a long time of cutting flights, spacing seats to coordinate with the authorities in the prevention and control of the pandemic, from 29th April 2020, Vietnamese airlines have increased the number of flights compared to the time of social distancing.
At the same time, airlines have not applied the measure of seating distance for passengers who are members of the same family, passengers who travel in groups, colleagues at the same agency, the same business, passengers traveling in groups, or having the same flight reservation code. Immediately after these adjustments, from 30th April 2020 to 3rd May 2020, airlines transported more than 150,000 passengers on domestic flights.
This number of passengers has not met the travel needs due to the decision to allow flying being close to the time of operation, so customers do not have time to plan, reserve seats, and buy tickets. In addition, the determination of groups of passengers whom the distancing on aircraft should not be applied on is difficult to implement in detail, making it difficult for airlines and unable to provide low fares compared to people’s expectations.
The proposal of the Vietnam Aviation Administration to continue increasing flights is considered in accordance with the basic pandemic situation which has been controlled and in line with the general orientation of the world aviation industry. Currently, many companies are looking forward to the V-shaped recovery model, which means that the aviation has gone through the "abyss" to begin to develop again, which is a factor promoting economic recovery through trade, investment, and tourism activities, etc.
China, which is the epicenter of the pandemic, is a prime example. From the end of March, when the "peak of the epidemic" had passed, Chinese aviation has begun to operate again. The good news is that China's domestic tourism industry in April 2020 has doubled compared to that in February 2020, which was the peak time of the epidemic.
Another big market is India with airlines such as Vistara, IndiGo, AirAsia Indina, Air India, SpiceJet, and GoAir, etc. being coordinated to re-exploit domestic flights, ensuring the social gap according to the Indian regulations.
In Thailand, since May, the Government of Thailand has reopened 32 domestic routes and 14 airports. Immediately, Vietjet, which has a route connecting Vietnam with Thailand and a domestic flight route in Thailand, started the recovery phase by donating more than 1 million promotional tickets with prices ranging from only 9 Baht (equivalent to 6,500 VND) applied to all domestic flights in Thailand and some routes between Vietnam and Thailand. Flight time is from 1st August 2020 to 31st December 2020.
The signals from many countries show that the international aviation industry has always been a leading factor in pulling the economy up, overtaking the pandemic’s peak, and controlling the spread of the disease. Everything will gradually return, starting from “reopening" the sky.
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