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Apr 16, 2020 / 02:10

Vietnam Airlines brings British, Vietnamese nationals home amid global lockdown

Repatriated Vietnamese nationals are people under 18, elderly, of poor health condition, and of special cases.

Vietnam Airlines, the national flag carrier, on April 15 brought nearly 100 Vietnamese citizens home after flying more than 100 people of British, Irish and other nationalities to the UK.

 Vietnam Airlines' crew on a flight repatriating Vietnamese citizens. Photo: Vietnam Airlines

The airline also carried 2.5 tons of airfreight consisting 140,000 facemasks and other medical supplies gifted by the Vietnamese government and people to aid the UK in combating Covid-19.

The Vietnamese people on the flight back to their home country included students under 18 years of age, elderly people, and those facing hardships. The plane landed on Van Don airport in the northern province of Quang Ninh, and the repatriated people were taken to quarantine facilities and put under medical check.

 Medical supplies to the UK gifted by Vietnam. Photo: Vietnam Airlines

The British Embassy in Cambodia, the Irish Embassy in Vietnam, relevant local authorities, and especially Vietnam Airlines had tried their best to make the flight possible, according to the British Embassy in Vietnam.

Under the request by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Vietnamese diplomatic missions have been trying to repatriate Vietnamese citizens who are stranded abroad with the priority given to people under 18, the elderly, the sick, and those of special cases. The repatriation is required to meet the quarantine capacity domestically.

 Inside the flight bringing Vietnamese home. Photo: Vietnam Airlines

Vietnam Airlines said this is the sixth flight bringing Vietnamese citizens home, but gave no details of timeline.

Speaking at an online press conference on April 9, Spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang of the Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Vietnam always creates favorable conditions for foreign diplomatic missions to conduct citizen protection measures and for foreigners who face difficulties to fly back to their home countries.

Vietnam has worked with foreign missions to support citizens of some European countries to return home. In the coming time, the Vietnamese government will continue assisting the repatriation of foreign visitors.

So far, Vietnam has brought back nearly 1,500 citizens, mainly from Europe and the US, the spokesperson said.