Jan 31, 2020 / 18:07

Vietnam’s first airline to suspend flights to China tomorrow

The Hanoitimes - The suspension was in response to the request of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc to stop flights from and to epidemic-stricken areas.

Vietjet Air would start suspending flights to China from February 1 as the coronavirus is spreading in the populous country, local media reported.

 Illustrative photo.

Meanwhile, Vietnamese airlines continue to closely cooperating with local authorities to comply with medical procedures of the World Health Organization (WHO) to prevent the spread of the deadly virus.

Previously, Vietjet Air received permission from the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) to conduct four flights on January 24 – 27 to carry Chinese passengers back to Wuhan, China. These aircraft later flew back to Vietnam without any passenger on board.

Other domestic airlines such as Vietnam Airlines and Jetstar Pacific are expected to inform passengers on schedules of the flights to China soon.

The suspension was in response to the request of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc to stop flights from and to epidemic-stricken areas. At a government meeting on January 30, the government decided to stop issuing visas to all Chinese, except for official and diplomatic passport holders.

With the complicated nature of the epidemic in China, airlines based in North America, Europe and Asia are canceling flights to China, with British Airways being the first airline in the world suspending all direct flights to China.

Other major airlines such as United Airlines, American Airlines, Air Asia, Cathay Pacific, Air India, IndiGo, Lufthansa and Finnair have announced plans to slash the number of flights they are operating to China or stop flying to the country.

The WHO at a meeting on January 30 declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) in response to the outbreak of coronavirus in China and other countries. To date, there have been over 9,900 confirmed cases of infection around the world, including 213 deaths in China.

In Vietnam, there are five cases of infection with coronavirus, while 32 are in quarantine pending test results as of January 31, according to the health ministry.