Holiday air travel demand surges despite Covid-19 threat

 Holiday air travel demand surges despite Covid-19 threat

Air passengers at Noi Bai Airport in Hanoi, April 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh.

1.5 million passengers passed through the country's airports during the recent four-day national holiday, up 30 percent year-on-year despite a surge in Covid-19 community transmissions.

During the holiday (April 30-May 3), 21 airports managed by the Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV) accommodated 11,000 flights, an increase of 45 percent against 2019's same period.

The country's largest airport Tan Son Nhat in Ho Chi Minh City reported the highest number of passengers on a single day in history on April 29, a day before the holiday.

Vietnamese celebrated the Reunification Day (April 30) and Labor Day (May 1) and many left one day earlier for popular tourist destinations or returned home for family reunions.

Earlier, domestic air carriers Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet Air and Bamboo Airways had opened new air routes to cater to growing travel demand after the country went over one month without community transmissions.

Vietnam has been dealing with a surge in community transmissions since April 29, with 38 cases confirmed.

Huge crowds flocked to local tourist hotspots during the holiday despite the resurgence of Covid-19.

The government closed national borders and canceled all international flights on March 25, 2020. It has since allowed in only Vietnamese repatriates and foreign experts and highly-skilled workers.

Airlines and travel companies are heavily reliant on the boom in domestic tourism to mitigate the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, which broke out in Vietnam in January last year.

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