As South Korea admitted that the dreaded Coronavirus has taken the toll to eight amid growing number of confirmed cases, neighbouring Vietnam has announced to suspend all the flights between South Korea and Vietnam until March end. In Vietnam, health officials had earlier said that 15 out of 16 confirmed coronavirus cases in the country had recovered, while 32 suspected cases were being quarantined in a hospital.
Vietnam's Bamboo Airways said that it has canceled all flights from Nha Trang and Da Nang to Incheon International Airport in Seoul and vice versa from February 26 onwards until the disease was brought under control. The airline currently operates with a frequency of 7 round trips per week on each of these routes.
No new route plans
"Our plan to open a new route from Hanoi to Incheon this June may have to be suspended, too," said a spokesperson for the airways, reports Reuters. South Korea was Vietnam's second largest tourism market after China, with 4.3 million visitors recorded in 2019, up 23% from a year earlier.
The flights of national carrier Vietnam Airlines bearing numbers VN 414, 415 to and from Incheon International Airport (Seoul, South Korea) and Noi Bai (Hanoi, Vietnam) from February 26 will also cease to operate. "We are still following the direction of the authorities on disease control, so we are planning to stop or adjust flight schedules accordingly," said a spokesperson.
For foreign airlines, the Korean Tourism authority said Korean Air has also stopped operating flights with KE 483 and KE 484 Incheon - Noi Bai routes from February 25. It runs 6 flights per day on this route.
Refunding cancelled tickets
Air Seoul also announced the suspension of the Hanoi - Seoul route. The airline has started refunding or exchanging tickets from passengers who had booked the tickets already. Even Asiana Airlines stopped the Seoul - Hanoi route of flights OZ 727, 728 from February 18 to March 9 officially. The airline maintains 2 return flights per day in this sector.
Ms. Tran Phuong Linh, representative of BenThanh Tourist company said that all the tours departing for Korea in March arranged by the company were canceled, while 50% of tours to Japan have also been stopped.