Vietnam aviation association proposes reopening borders for vaccine passport bearers

The aviation association has proposed to join the IATA Travel Pass Initiative to revive tourism and aviation industries.

The Vietnam Aviation Business Association (VABA) has submitted to the Ministry of Planning and Investment a proposal on resuming international air routes and welcoming “vaccine passport” bearers, those who have been vaccinated against coronavirus.

Vietnamese airlines are predicted to face a sharp drop in revenue, and would post losses totalling VND15 trillion (US$650 million) this year, according to the VABA. 

Earlier, the association asked the government for a bailout package worth VND25-27 trillion (US$1.07-1.16 billion) to support the aviation industry that has been seriously hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The VABA urged the government to allow entry for vaccinated foreigners from the countries that have put the pandemic under control, including Europe, Australia, China, South Korea and Japan.

The association proposed to draw up tourism products at localities housing quarantine accommodations for foreigners.  

Earlier, the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam had asked the government to consider joining the IATA Travel Pass initiative in order to help revive tourism and aviation industries.

The Travel Pass, initiated by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), also called a “health digital passport”, is a new app that helps travelers store and manage their verified certifications for COVID-19 test or and COVID-19 vaccination.

The national flag carrier, Vietnam Airlines, on February 25, had the first meeting with the IATA to discuss the health digital passport project and officially requested IATA’s permission to join the IATA Travel Pass trial.

“The successful implementation of the IATA Travel Pass is a testament that technology can help passengers and the government to manage travel-medical information safely,” Alexandre de Juniac, IATA General Director said. “This is an important basis for resuming international aviation operations.”

Some international airlines such as United Arab's Emirates, Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways, and Panama's Copa Airlines started to roll out vaccine passports since March. 

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