Air travel falls 20 percent on COVID-19 outbreak: authority

The outbreak of the acute respiratory disease caused by a new coronavirus (COVID-19) has resulted in a 20 percent drop in the number of the passenger flying via Vietnamese airports as compared to the same time last year, according to the Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV).

air travel falls 20 percent on covid-19 outbreak: authority hinh 0
Officials examine COVID-19 prevention and control at an airport (Photo: nhandan.com.vn)

Chairman of ACV’s board of directors Lai Xuan Thanh worried that air travel would further decline in the next one or two months in the light of the outbreak, with sharp fall to major tourist destinations like Da Nang, Nha Trang, Ho Chi Minh City and Phu Quoc island.

Cam Ranh International Airport in central Khanh Hoa province is among the worst hit as Chinese nationals account for 60 percent of the total passengers there. Meanwhile, Noi Bai International Airport is the least, seeing around 530-540 flights each day, but anyway this is still a drop of some 100 flights compared to peak period of Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday, Thanh said.

As of February 13, 21 airports managed by the ACV detected 127 COVID-19 suspected cases that need medical quarantine, while refusing entry of 297 others coming from disease-hit areas.

All international airports in the country are equipped with body temperature scanners and medical facilities to find out passengers with fever.

Thanh said the disease may wreak havoc on the business results of the ACV and many airlines, therefore it needs to restructure its business strategy. One of the response to the crisis is receiving more flights from other markets rather than China, he suggested.

VNA