Vietnam Airlines and Jetstar Pacific have resumed flights to Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau after Vietnam withdrew its previous announcement that it would impose a ban on flights to the three regions.
The Vietnamese government previously announced it would halt all flights to and from mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan on February 1 as part of measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
However, Vietnam’s civil aviation authority later lifted the ban on flights to Taiwan. On February 2, it said carriers could also temporarily operate flights to Hong Kong and Macau but flights to mainland China were still suspended, according to Reuters.
Following the announcement, Vietnam Airlines and Jetstar Pacific said they would halt their Vietnam to mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong routes in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
However, Vietnam Airlines said it was now resuming the flights “in an effort to ferry stranded passengers at airports in Vietnam, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau back home”.
The airline said flights between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to Hong Kong have been resumed since February 2 until February 5, but it would re-suspend the Hanoi-Hong Kong route.
The carrier said its route between Ho Chi Minh City and Hong Kong will still be operational after February 5, but the route will be “closely monitored for potential adjustments in flight frequency in response to travel demand”.
It added that its flights between Hanoi and Macau, which the airline restarted on February 2, will be re-suspended on February 5.
Vietnam Airlines now offers daily flights between Hanoi and Hong Kong, 10 weekly flights between Ho Chi Minh City and Hong Kong, and daily flights between Hanoi and Macau.
Ho Chi Minh City-based low-cost carrier Jetstar Pacific will continue operating flights between Hanoi and Hong Kong until February 5, while its flights between Vietnam and Taiwan will continue after that date.
A growing number of airlines have suspended flights to mainland China as governments have advised against travel to the region in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus, which was declared a global health emergency by The World Health Organization last week. The new virus, which originated in Wuhan, has claimed 361 lives in China, according to South China Morning Post.