Vietnamese carrier Vietjet has officially operated international commercial flights from Vietnam to South Korea following a long hiatus because of COVID-19.
Two Vietjet flights took off on Thursday from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, both bound for Seoul, the airline announced.
The carrier will operate one flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Seoul every Wednesday.
Services from Seoul to Ho Chi Minh City will also be run every Wednesday, starting from October 7.
Flights connecting Hanoi – Seoul – Ho Chi Minh City are additional services that Vietjet has urgently deployed to meet the increasing demand of traveling and trading as the international sky returns, especially for such an important market as South Korea, Vietjet said.
Passengers from Vietnam and South Korea are required to have a COVID-19-negative certificate issued within three days of departure time and to comply with mandatory medical quarantine requirements of the host countries, it added.
All documents are probably required upon immigration.
As regulated by the South Korean government, flyers from Vietnam to South Korea have to fill out all regulated forms before boarding their flight as well as abiding by compulsory quarantine requirements by local authorities.
Passengers flying to Vietnam can opt for self-paid centralized isolation at a number of hotels and accommodations in many cities and provinces.
Vietjet has also unveiled plans to commercially fly to Japan and Taiwan. On September 25, a Vietnam Airlines plane landed in Hanoi from Seoul with 104 passengers on board.
This was the first international commercial flight after the Vietnamese government had suspended such services since March 25 to slow the spread of COVID-19. However, charter flights to the country have been arranged to bring in experts, skilled workers, and diplomats, and to repatriate Vietnamese citizens stranded in other nations and territories due to the pandemic.
The Vietnam Airlines flight was considered a ‘trial service’ to assess the country’s capacity to handle regular international arrivals after a six-month closure, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam.
Vietnam has confirmed 1,095 coronavirus patients since January 23, when the virus first hit the country, according to the Ministry of Health’s statistics.
It has recorded 35 virus-related deaths so far, most having suffered critical underlying health problems. The number of recovered patients has reached 1,010.
A new wave of infections battered the country on July 25, when Da Nang documented the first community transmission after 99 days of zero domestic cases nationwide.
A total of 551 local cases were then logged across Vietnam in the following weeks, the majority linked to Da Nang.
The nation spent over a month tracing contacts and managing to suppress the outbreak. It has gone about one month without any infection in the community.
Vietnam has resumed commercial flights to certain destinations, including Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and mainland China. Entrants from these places are now required to present certificates proving they tested negative for the novel coronavirus within three days of their boarding flights.
Vietnam began denying entry to foreign nationals on March 22 but the government allows foreign experts, skilled workers, investors, and diplomats to enter the country on a case-by-case basis, subject to mandatory quarantine. Vietnam currently charges international arrivals for quarantine. It provided the quarantine service for free in the past.
This article was originally published in Tuoitre