This was one of the first two flights operated by Vietnam Airlines after it announced to resume regular flights between Vietnam and Europe. Flight VN18 carried 294 passengers, more than half of them were from London, the UK, while the others from France.
The other was Flight VN36 heading to Hanoi from Germany’s Frankfurt on the same day.
“Vietnamese people living in France have been looking forward to this moment for a very long time,” Vuong Huu Nhan, Chairman of the Vietnamese Association in France, told the Vietnam News Agency, “because everybody longs to fly home and see their families and friends.”
It is the first step for resuming normal travel between France and Vietnam, said Mai Nam Thang, a Vietnamese living in Normandie. He expressed his excitement to be able to return to Vietnam for Tet, saying “for Vietnamese living in France like us, this is a very meaningful event when Tet is nearing.”
According to an estimate by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, about 140,000 overseas Vietnamese wish to travel home for Tet. The weekly number of arrivals in Vietnam is expected to exceed 30,000, including not only Vietnamese but also foreigners who come to Vietnam on diplomatic mission, for official duty or business purposes.
Vietnam Airlines have so far relaunched regular services to 12 countries and territory, namely the US, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Taiwan (China), Australia, Russia, the UK, France and Germany.
From February 8, the flight schedule to the UK, France and Germany will be fixed on two routes. The flights on the first route depart every Tuesday from Hanoi to London, via Frankfurt and back to Hanoi, while those on the second depart every Thursday from Hanoi to Paris, via Frankfurt and back to Hanoi.
The national flag carrier also advises passengers to find out information and make sure to meet immigration regulations at their destinations such as health declaration, COVID-19 testing, vaccination or recovery status.