Vietjet Air has announced that it plans to halt all flights from Vietnam to major Southeast Asian countries starting Friday as a Covid-19 safety measure. The airline said that it will temporarily suspend all flights to and from Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand.
A spokesperson for the airline said that the decision followed the Vietnamese government’s directive that all international visitors from Europe, Southeast Asian and the United States who enter the country will need to be quarantined in medical camps for 14 days.
Vietnamese authorities are worried about the continuing spread of the COVID-19 virus. Vietnam has encountered an increase of more than 50 new cases rover the last 10 days and with other countries in Asia, particularly Malaysia and Thailand seeing increases, Vietnamese health authorities want to decrease the possibility of new cases by limiting who comes into the country.
Vietnam Airlines, the national flag carrier has suspended all flights to and from France and Malaysia, starting Wednesday and will suspend flights to Russia and Taiwan starting on Thursday. The carrier is also considering cutting down flights to other Southeast Asian destinations depending on how the pandemic develops in the region.
Vietjet Air and Vietnam Airlines are the two Vietnamese airlines with the greatest number of Southeast Asian flights and are expected to suffer increased financial losses with these routes and other routes being temporarily suspended.
It’s estimated that the Vietnamese airline industry has lost more than $1.3 billion USD in revenues in the January and February period as the COVID-19 epidemic has grown into a global pandemic, and the industry is bracing for losses of $7 billion USD for the full-year.
Vietnam has recorded 75 COVID-19 infections, with 59 of these cases detected since March 6, prior to which the nation had gone 22 days without a new case. The previous 16 patients have been discharged from hospitals.