LONDON – The flag carrier of Vietnam, Vietnam Airlines, has officially reopened direct flights between France and Vietnam, with the first commercial flight after a nearly 2-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The flight departed on January 25, just a week before Tet (Lunar New Year) – the biggest and longest festival in Vietnam.
This was one of the first 2 flights operated by Vietnam Airlines after it announced to resume regular flights between Vietnam and Europe, namely VN18 and VN36, both departing on the same day.
“Vietnamese people living in France have been looking forward to this moment for a very long time,” Vuong Huu Nhan, chairman of the Vietnamese Association in France told the Vietnam News Agency.
“Because everybody longs to fly home and see their families and friends.”
It is the first step for resuming normal travel between France and Vietnam, said Mai Nam Thang, a Vietnamese living in Normandy.
He expressed his excitement to be able to return to Vietnam for Tet, saying “for Vietnamese living in France like us, this is a very meaningful event when Tet is near.”
According to an estimate done by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, about 140,000 overseas Vietnamese residents wish to travel home for Tet.
The weekly number of arrivals in Vietnam is expected to exceed 30,000, including not only Vietnamese but also foreigners who come to Vietnam on diplomatic missions, for official duty or business purposes.
Vietnam Airlines have so far relaunched regular services to 12 countries and territory, namely the US, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Taiwan (China), Australia, Russia, the UK, France, and Germany.
From February 8, the flight schedule to the UK, France, and Germany will be fixed on 2 routes.
The flights on the first route depart every Tuesday from Hanoi to London, via Frankfurt and back to Hanoi, while those on the second depart every Thursday from Hanoi, via Frankfurt, and back to Hanoi.
The national flag carrier also advises passengers to find out information and make sure to meet immigration regulations at their destinations such as health declarations, COVID-19 testing, vaccination, or recovery status.