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Transportation

Vietnam Air restores key domestic route to 30% of normal

Regular overseas service still on hold, but Hanoi-Ho Chi Minh City flights at 13 a day

Vietnam Airlines was limited to just one flight between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City as a measure to contain the spread of COVID-19.   © Reuters

HANOI -- Flag carrier Vietnam Airlines has increased flights between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City by nearly a third as the country ends the lockdown put in place to halt the spread of the coronavirus. 

Vietnam Air will start to operate up to 13 flights per day between the capital and the nation's largest city, marking a return to about 30% of normal routes. The connection had been limited to just one daily flight during the lockdown.

The airline will also expand service between Hanoi and Danang. Regarding other destinations, Vietnam Air will restart flights based on government directives.

Vietjet Air, Vietnam's largest budget airline, restored the Hanoi-Ho Chi Minh City connection to six daily flights. But regular international flights are not expected to resume anytime soon as the state halted issuing visas to foreigners since March 18.

Vietnam imposed nationwide social distancing measures on April 1, which were lifted Thursday with a some exceptions. The country of over 95 million people reported just 268 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, with zero deaths and over 80% of patients recovered.

Businesses that were closed during the lockdown have started up again. Honda Motor rebooted production of automobiles and two-wheelers on Thursday. Toyota Motor resumed output on Monday. Aeon Vietnam, a subsidiary of Japan's largest retailer Aeon, reopened all five shopping centers as of Friday.

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