Passengers from Phnom Penh, Cambodia, leave the flight after arriving in Vietnam.
A flight carrying 121 passengers from Cambodia’s Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh landed in the southern economic hub’s Tan Son Nhat International Airport on the evening of January 1, making it the first regular international operated by Vietnam Airlines after a nearly-two-year hiatus since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The flight, coded VN852, followed Vietnam’s plan to reopen air routes to destinations abroad with high safety levels starting the first day of 2022 in a bid to resume international passenger transport and boost economic recovery.
Interviewed by the Vietnam News Agency’s correspondent in Cambodia regarding the event, Uch Leang, Acting Director of the Department of Asian, African and Middle East Studies of the International Relations Institute of Cambodia, considered such reopening a strong and prompt decision of the Vietnamese Government given the regional efforts for socio-economic recovery.
Noting that Cambodia and Vietnam have close ties concerning trade and investment, the travel needs of overseas Vietnamese in Cambodia, and the significant demand of Cambodians for travelling to Vietnam for medical examination and treatment, the expert said he appreciated the flight resumption plan in an attempt to live safely with COVID-19.
After the Vietnam-Cambodia flight, Vietnam Airlines will run flights between Vietnam and Japan on January 5 as well as between Vietnam and the US on January 9.
Earlier, it announced a plan to resume regular international flights between Vietnam and 15 countries and territories in the first half of 2022, which is scheduled to be carried out in two phases.
During Phase 1, expected to last for two weeks from January 1, the carrier will operate two-way flights between Vietnam and the United States, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Taiwan (China), Singapore, Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia.
In Phase 2, Vietnam Airlines plans to restore more two-way routes between Vietnam and the UK, France, Germany, Russia, Australia, Hong Kong (China), and Malaysia.
The plan is subject to change according to the approval of relevant authorities and the developments of the pandemic./.