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Sunday, November 29, 2020

Waiting to fly to Con Dao Island

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HCMC – Since my wife and I planned to travel to Con Dao Island, the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam’s request to relaunch more domestic routes from April 23 was good news to us and maybe to other travelers too.

In a proposal sent to the Ministry of Transport, the aviation authority has requested, among other things, the reopening of the HCMC-Con Dao route with four flights per day, giving me more options for flight times. Some may know that before the Covid-19 outbreak, Vietnam Airlines operated 17 daily flights between HCMC and Con Dao. Four flights per day, if approved, are not bad though.

Before the outbreak, my wife wanted to travel to Con Dao to explore its pristine beaches and possibly catch a glimpse of the dugongs.

To me, visiting Con Dao would be a blast from the past as one of my uncles was detained there during the war. He was locked up in the notorious cell room known as chuong cop, or tiger cage, for years. That is why I would like to visit Con Dao.

The prison was built by French colonists in 1861 and was only closed at the end of the American war in 1975. It is now a must-see site on Con Dao.

I will be booking our tickets with Vietnam Airlines as it is the only airline to fly from HCMC to Con Dao Island. And I like the way they operate: mostly on time, with courteous service.

During the outbreak, the airline is “equipped with personal protective equipment such as protective overalls, gloves, masks and safety glasses. The measurement of body temperature and electronic health declarations are required of all passengers and flight crews before boarding, while an adequate physical distance must be maintained between seats chosen on board. All passengers are requested to wear masks during the flight and will be denied boarding if they are suspected of having Covid-19 symptoms,” according to the airline’s website.

It continues, “Starting (at midnight on March 25), all Vietnam Airlines aircraft serving domestic routes will be disinfected on landing in Hanoi, Danang or HCMC, and all aircraft operated during the day will be disinfected once more at the end of the day.”

My wife and I would prefer to fly before April 30, when Con Dao will be less crowded from the lack of tourists.

By Ngoc Tran

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