Vietnam Airlines has been certified with the 5-Star COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating – the ninth global airline to meet the criteria for this top-level accreditation. The Skytrax COVID-19 Airline Safety assessment is regarded as a global benchmark for evaluating COVID-19 safe travel.

The COVID-19 Safety Audit was conducted by Skytrax during May and June 2021 and assessed all safety and hygiene protocols introduced by Vietnam Airlines in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 Safety Rating evaluates frontline facilities and service systems to determine if the procedures are effective and consistent.

The COVID-19 Safety assessment includes all factors of airport and onboard cleanliness, cleaning and disinfection procedures, standard and usage conformity of staff PPE, COVID-19 signage and information, the application of social distancing, hand sanitiser facilities, PA guidance, organisation and control of passenger flows, monitoring face mask usage and adapted service systems in the airport and onboard flights.

Vietnam Airlines President & CEO, Mr Le Hong Ha said: “We are very proud to be certified with the 5-Star COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating. This is a testament to the consistent efforts of Vietnam Airlines and is also a reflection of our continued investment to ensure maximum hygiene and safety levels at all stages of the passenger journey. With safety being our top priority, we are committed to implementing the most comprehensive COVID-19 safety program, allowing passengers to travel with confidence. We aspire to work towards a smooth post-pandemic recovery stage, helping the country to combat the pandemic and reinvigorate further economic growth.

Vietnam Airlines encourages their guests to “Travel with Confidence” having conducted a broad risk assessment across all major customer touchpoints. The airline has leverage its membership of the SkyTeam Alliance and has implemented the “SkyCare & Protect” brand across airports in Vietnam.

All factors of guidance for social distancing, mask use, and hand hygiene are well provided for at key passenger movement areas for check-in, boarding, arrival, and in the network of domestic Lotus Lounges.

Edward Plaisted of Skytrax said: “Vietnam Airlines has continued flying domestic routes and offering service on a small number of international flights. During this time, the airline has implemented a broad range of enhanced hygiene and revised service measures to keep customers and staff safe during the pandemic. The protocols are being applied consistently and with suitable consideration for the risk level in the domestic market, and importantly, Vietnam Airlines has in place appropriate planning for managing increased passenger volumes and handling more international customers.”

Vietnam Airlines has recently increased the number of hand hygiene units at all high contact areas at check-in, boarding, baggage reclaim, and in the Lotus Lounges.

The Lotus Lounges have a range of enhanced distancing and one-way systems to facilitate safe movement and adapted service procedures for food and drinks – which includes increase cleaning of contact surfaces in the dining area. Electronic reading materials will replace physical newspapers and magazines.

All areas of the lounge are subject to enhanced sanitisation, and the majority of seating, tables, and other touchpoints are cleaned after use by each customer.

Passengers can expect to board the aircraft using a system designed to increase physical distancing, and similarly, a strict deplaning protocol is applied for arrival. Suitable distancing, hand hygiene and contactless service systems have been devised for baggage reclaim processes.

Onboard service has been simplified to reduce contact between customers and staff – however, cabin crew wear a full-range of PPE, and passengers are given sanitisers and wipes, and can request face masks. The standard and type of inflight hygiene product is expected to be updated as the airline undertakes more international flights.

Cabin cleaning methods and frequencies have been enhanced in line or above industry standard, and this includes factors such as pillows, blankets, and other amenities.

The 5-Star COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating confirms excellent airport processing standards that considers all practical elements of contactless technology, customer handling, and social distancing protocols for check-in, boarding, and arrival. Airline lounges 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. Onboard cleanliness and cabin presentation is at an excellent quality level and may use new techniques for UV sanitisation, and mass disinfectant treatments. The onboard service systems for catering are adapted for COVID-19 times, with reduced contact delivery and enhanced food safety measures for meal presentation.