Vietnam Airlines is preparing to operate a dozen flights to repatriate more than 1,000 Chinese citizens who have got stuck in Danang, Nha Trang and Phu Quoc due to the suspension of air services between Vietnam and China.
A health quarantine staff monitors the body temperatures of arriving passengers at a local airport. Vietnam Airlines is preparing flights to repatriate over 1,000 Chinese citizens – PHOTO: VNA
Duong Tri Thanh, general director of the national flag carrier, told the working team of the Commission for the Management of State Capital at Enterprises, which on February 13 inspected the airline’s and the Airports Corporation of Vietnam’s (ACV’s) coronavirus prevention efforts at Noi Bai International Airport, that the airline will operate 10 flights to transport these Chinese nationals to the Chinese cities of Chengdu and Guangzhou.
The number of flights can be adjusted depending on the number of Chinese nationals who need to be repatriated, Nguoi Lao Dong newspaper reported.
Discussing the impact of the Covid-19 virus, Thanh said that the coronavirus outbreak has taken a heavy toll, even heavier than the 2002-2003 pandemic of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), on the carrier.
Preliminary calculations cited by ACV Chairman Lai Xuan Thanh indicate that the fallout from the virus, which was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan, had lowered ACV’s business efficiency by 20% compared with normal periods.
Taking Cam Ranh International Airport as an example, Thanh said that the airport, which handles 60% of international arrivals, is now deserted.
If the virus continues to spread, the local aviation sector would suffer even greater losses, Thanh stressed.
At the working session, Nguyen Hoang Anh, chairman of the Commission for the Management of State Capital at Enterprises, told Vietnam Airlines and ACV to strictly follow the Government leaders’ and the Ministry of Health’s directives and guidelines on the prevention of the spread of the virus.
Apart from adopting multiple measures to minimize the impact of the virus on business activities, Vietnam Airlines and ACV have been told to ensure air transport runs smoothly. SGT
More than 5,000 Chinese people have been quarantined when returning to Vietnam to work according to the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs.
The ongoing coronavirus outbreak has disrupted several companies in Vietnam as thousands of Chinese workers have been unable to return to work after Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday.