On May 29th, Vietnam Airlines announced that it had completely resumed all domestic flights. Then, further, on June 2nd, the flag carrier also announced an expansion of its domestic flights with six new routes coming this month. This is an incredible sign of domestic recovery.
A complete restoration of domestic flights
On May 29th, the carrier announced that it had completely restored its domestic flights after months under lockdown. However, that was not all. Compared to the same day in 2019, Vietnam Airlines actually increased its flights by an impressive 36%. In total, the airline flew over 350 passenger and cargo flights.
Since the end of April, Vietnam’s domestic market has been on the rebound. Vietnam Airlines credits the well-controlled COVID-19 situation for the rapid increase in domestic travelers. Since April 23rd, over 500,000 people flew Vietnam Airlines on a domestic leg.
This came after the launch of five new routes in May that included Ho Chi Minh City to Tuy Hoa, Hai Phong to Nha Trang, Vinh to Da Lat, Vinh to Buon Ma Thuot, and Thanh Hoa to Buon Ma Thuot.
Expanding domestic flights
Vietnam Airlines also announced that it is opening six new routes this month. This includes two routes from Hai Phong to Da Lat and Phu Quoc. Both flights will operate four days a week– Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays– from the middle of June. Other routes from Hai Phong include to Can Tho and Buon Ma Thuot. Both of these routes will be served three times per week on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
From Can Tho, Vietnam Airlines will add a thrice-weekly flight to Vinh on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Meanwhile, the sixth new route will launch on June 22nd between Can Tho and Buon Ma Thuot on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
These new routes saw Vietnam Airlines offering special low fares for the first 6,666 lucky customers. If you miss out on this deal, Vietnam Airlines is offering other promotional fares on flights through July 31st.
All of these routes are intended to stimulate tourism and develop a diversified domestic flight network. Hai Phong is a port city in Vietnam with plenty to see nearby, including Cat Ba National Park and Elephant Mountain. Can Tho is the largest city in the Mekong Delta and the fourth-largest in the country.
With this expansion and the restoration of the domestic schedule, it is not surprising to see Vietnam Airlines eye a significant 50-plane increase to its fleet.
What about international flights?
International flights remain closed. However, Vietnam Airlines has been operating an impressive repatriation schedule that saw the carrier fly its first-ever flights to and from the United States. Vietnam is weighing reducing restrictions to resume trade on select routes and bring in tourism.
Onboard all Vietnam Airlines aircraft, the airline is still using disinfectant sprays. At the same time, passengers’ health is being checked before boarding. And, onboard the plane, passengers are required to wear masks. The crew also have access to personal protective equipment such as masks, gloves, face shields, and alcohol wipes.
What can other airlines learn?
Vietnam has done a fantastic job of monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and keeping the country safe. And, over the last month, the end of the lockdown has appeared to grow tourism without growing the number of coronavirus cases. In fact, Vietnam has recorded zero deaths and under 350 cases in total.
The well-managed situation, unfortunately, does not play out well in other countries. Especially in the United States, airlines are anticipating a rough few years before travel rebounds. Although, it is more likely that domestic travel will rebound well before international does.
Are you surprised to see a strong recovery in Vietnam Airlines’ domestic network? Let us know in the comments!