Just last week, while new restrictions disrupted major transport services, Siobhan still managed to take a flight from Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Son Nhat International Airport to Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport. Even if it’s just a two-night business trip, she was on edge and skeptical of what’s going to happen upon departure and arrival at the capital.
“I’m a foreigner here, it can get tricky sometimes. I was nervous about whether I’ll have to stay for two weeks in a hotel for quarantine or worse, catch the virus at the airport or plane and get detected, and then I’ll have to stay at isolation camps. Flying during this time freaks me out.”
To be safe, Siobhan booked with Vietnam’s national flag carrier. “I was so used to flying before but this time is different plus the virus threats, the best thing I could do was choose an airline I trust, so I flew with Vietnam Airlines and I’m so glad I did.”
She added, “I downloaded their app and checked in the night before my departure. When I arrived at the airport, it felt like a ghost town, and even spotted a group of travelers in complete PPE gears. I went straight to the Vietnam Airlines desk where I showed my health declaration code and they gave me a piece of paper in Vietnamese then told me to show it when someone asks for my health declaration documents. Everything went smooth, I proceeded to my boarding gate and that’s it.”
Seeing the flight crew wearing protective gear and sanitizing the plane was a relief. But contrary to what she expected, there was no mandatory swab testing upon arrival at the Noi Bai International Airport. “It was, I admit, less of a hassle, but at the same time, I felt the need to double my safety precautions and wore a face shield on top of my face mask the whole time.”
Going back to HCMC, Siobhan still flew with Vietnam Airlines and the same thing happened: boarding was nice and slow, made sure the passengers were maintaining a safe distance, checked the temperature, provided wet tissue and bottled water onboard, and safety practices.
5-Star COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating
With their broad risk assessment across all major customer touchpoints, Vietnam’s flagship airline has been certified with the highest 5-Star COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating by Skytrax, the global assessment and certification of airline health and safety measures during the coronavirus pandemic
Vietnam Airlines is the country’s first and the world’s 9th airline to be recognized by Skytrax with the highest 5-star COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating, underlining the airline’s great efforts to protect public health.
The airline confirms excellent airport processing standards that consider all practical elements of contactless technology, customer handling, and social distancing protocols for check-in, boarding, and arrival. Safety measures and improved hygiene processes were introduced by the airline management to help reduce the spread of coronavirus.
The COVID-19 Airline Safety Certifications is about evaluating the front-line realities of an airline’s COVID-19 safety and hygiene procedures. It is critical to determine a COVID-19 rating, and as airlines begin to restore more services throughout 2021, their ability to assure customers of a safe travel experience is essential to restoring confidence in air travel.
Vietnam Airlines provides a safe and comfortable travel experience, encouraging passengers to “Travel with Confidence.” Validating Siobhan’s choice of airline.
The rating also considers the situation inside the airline lounges, it must meet a high standard of cleanliness procedures and consistency, with good measures in place that facilitate social distancing and safe delivery systems for food and beverages.
Moreover, “onboard cleanliness and cabin presentation is at an excellent quality level and may use new techniques for UV sanitization, and mass disinfectant treatments which are scientifically evaluated. Service systems for catering are adapted for COVID-19 times, with reduced contact delivery and enhanced food safety measures for meal presentation,” reads the Skytrax Rating website guidelines on COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating.
Protocols are applied consistently
According to the General Director of Skytrax, Edward Plaisted, Vietnam Airlines has “implemented a broad range of enhanced hygiene and revised service measures to keep customers and staff safe during the pandemic.” Adding, “the protocols are being applied consistently and with suitable consideration for the risk level in the domestic market, and most importantly, Vietnam Airlines has put in place appropriate planning for managing increased passenger volumes and handling more international customers.”
Skytrax experts conducted the safety assessment program for COVID-19 prevention and control from May to June 2021. The assessment applied the common global standard of passenger health and safety along with the best practices of the World Health Organisation (WHO), the guidelines of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the International Air Transport Association (IATA) as well as the pandemic prevention policies of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)
Skytrax COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating is the world’s first COVID-19 Safety Accreditation for the airline industry, regarded as a global benchmark for defining safe travel assurance for customers by complex analysis of the hygiene improvement procedures and systems introduced by airlines during the coronavirus pandemic.