International flights to gradually resume by year-end: CAAV

Regular international flights can be gradually resumed by the end of 2021 as the COVID-19 situation will improve in the second half of the year when vaccination is accelerated in Vietnam and in the world, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV).

CAAV statistics show that there are currently about 30 foreign airlines from Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, and Middle East countries and France operating flights that carry diplomats, experts, investors, skilled workers, foreign students and cargos to/from Vietnam.

Meanwhile, Vietnamese airlines have used most of their fleets to operate on domestic routes with increases in both frequency and the number of routes.

The authority forecasts that the situation in 2021 will improve compared to 2020, especially in many key markets of Vietnamese aviation such as Northeast Asia and Europe. The herd immunity, driven by large-scale vaccination, will serve as a basis for gradually reopening international passenger flights at the end of the third quarter and the beginning of the fourth quarter of 2021.

As a result, Vietnam’s aviation market may start to recover from the middle of the third quarter of 2021 with local airports expecting to serve over 70 million passengers this year, CAAV said.

In the first half of 2021, Vietnam’s airports were estimated to serve 26.8 million passengers, down 19.4% year-on-year, including 145,000 foreigners and 26.7 million domestic passengers, down 97.9% and up 1.4%, respectively.

In the period, 668,000 tonnes of goods are transported through the airports, a year-on-year rise of 12.7%.