Vietnam Airlines will restrict passenger loads on services to Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Son Nhat International Airport so as not to stress the airport’s mandatory coronavirus testing.

Its Boeing 787s and Airbus A350-900s will be restricted to 180 passengers, says the carrier.

Cirium fleets data shows that the airline’s five in-service 787-9s have an average seat count of 281, its three 787-10s have an average of 367, and its three A350-900’s have 305 seats each.

In addition, its 15 in-service A321s – 13 A321s and two A321neos - will be restricted to carrying 120 passengers, though average capacity is 192 seats.

“The purpose of these requirements is to ensure that the number of passengers arriving at Tan Son Nhat Airport is within the COVID-19 testing capacity of Ho Chi Minh City,” says the airline.

“Currently, COVID-19 testing now applies to all passengers arriving at Tan Son Nhat Airport’s domestic terminal. Should the number of passengers entering Ho Chi Minh City through Tan Son Nhat Airport increase, authorities may decide to quarantine them first before conducting COVID-19 screening tests.”

Cirium estimates that the airline has 31 aircraft in service and 78 in storage. On 19 March, the airline suspended all international flights owing to entry restrictions and border closures.