Vietnam Airlines plans to operate several one-way flights to Japan later this month with Boeing 787s.
The flights will depart Hanoi at 23:45 on 18, 25 and 30 September. Flights from Ho Chi Minh City to Narita will depart at 00:00 on 30 September.
Cirium fleets data show the airline has 11 787-9s and four of the larger -10 variant. It did not specify which variant would be used for these flights and has not yet responded to Cirium’s request for comment.
The Vietnamese flag carrier says the flights will “serve the increasing needs of passengers wishing to work, study and stay in Japan”.
All crew members of the flights will undergo quarantine upon flight completion, the airline says, and the aircraft will be “thoroughly sprayed with disinfectants meeting international health standards”.
Tickets for the flights have been on sale since 11 September and start from D10.2 million ($439).
In June, Vietnam Airlines operated several one-way flights from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to Seoul and Frankfurt.
The airline says it plans to resume return flights from Japan to Vietnam, pending developments with Covid-19 and approval from the relevant authorities. It is also working on a plan to resume flights to South Korea, China, Taiwan, Laos, and Cambodia in the near future.
“The re-institution of regular international flights is a positive signal for Vietnam as well as Vietnam Airlines as the pandemic is showing signs of being under control in many countries,” the airline states.
Besides a spike in confirmed Covid-19 cases at the end of July and continuing into August that derailed the recovery of the country’s aviation sector, Vietnam has been relatively unscathed by the pandemic.
As of 16 September, the country has had only 1,063 cases of Covid-19 and 35 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. This month, Vietnam has been reporting either no new cases or single digit cases each day.
However, Vietnam Airlines’ international network continues to suffer from travel restrictions imposed by governments around the world.