Government urges quick resumption of pre-pandemic visa policy

Government urges quick resumption of pre-pandemic visa policy

Foreign visitors at Noi Bai Airport in Hanoi, March 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Kieu Duong

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has ordered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to submit a plan on the resumption of a visa policy for foreign tourists like before the Covid pandemic.

The move came as the country is scheduled to reopen inbound tourism in two weeks, but many foreign tourists are still waiting for an official visa policy announcement.

Before the pandemic nationals of Belarus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, and the U.K. were allowed to visit Vietnam for up to 15 days without a visa.

Visitors from most other ASEAN countries do not require a visa for up to 30 days. The waiver lasts for 21 days for visitors from the Philippines and 14 days for those from Brunei and Myanmar.

Kyrgyz nationals do not need a visa for travel up to 30 days while for Chileans it is 90 days.

The country also granted e-visas to citizens of 88 countries that allows them to apply online for a 30-day, single-entry visa.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism had many times called for the government to revive the visa policy like before the pandemic.

Vietnam has received 9,000 foreign arrivals since November last year as the country partially reopened international tourism.

From March 15, Vietnam will lift most of travel restrictions and foreign tourists would be allowed to visit the country without booking tour packages.

Airlines resume hiring as they embark on recovery

Airlines resume hiring as they embark on recovery

A flight attendant on a Bamboo Airways domestic flight at the end of February, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Anh Tu

Bamboo Airways, Vietjet and Vietravel Airlines have started hiring again after an extended recruitment freeze due to Covid-19.

Bamboo Airways has posted hiring announcements for many positions, including pilots, flight engineers and cabin crew aid plans to expand its fleet and destinations.

The airline is offering captains a monthly salary of US$13,300 for flying wide-body Boeing 787s and $10,450 for narrow-body Airbus and Embraer jets, which are higher than pre-pandemic levels.

Nguyen Ngoc Trong, its deputy general director, said the carrier is seeking permission to expand its 30-strong fleet by five to 10 aircraft each year.

It operated at maximum capacity during the nine-day Tet, or Lunar New Year, holidays in early this month, and plans to launch new services to the US and Europe in the second quarter of this year, he added.

Budget airlines Vietjet has also posted notices seeking captains and co-pilots for Airbus A320Fs and A330s.

Vietravel Airlines is hiring pilots for its Airbus A320/A321 fleet as well as cabin crew.

Representatives of Vietravel Airlines said the recruitment is to “ready for the expansion of the fleet” and “launch new routes to northeast and southeast Asian nations in the third quarter.”

But human resources could be scarce this year as airlines resume hiring after their Covid-19 woes, they added.

Vietnam has resumed commercial flights to 20 of 28 countries and territories that it operated direct flights to before the pandemic.

The country also ended all restrictions on international flights on Feb. 15.

From March 15, Vietnam will reopen inbound and outbound tourism under new normal conditions, with foreign tourists allowed to visit the country without booking tour packages.

In the best case scenario, Vietnam’s aviation industry would transport 42-43 million passengers in 2022, or around 50 percent of pre-pandemic numbers, Bui Minh Dang, deputy head of the air transportation department at the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam, said.

Credit: Viet Tuan (VnExpress.net)

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