Viet Nam Airlines has announced special repatriation flights continue amid border closures, the company said.
The airline flew from Taipei (Taiwan) to Da Nang (Vietnam), repatriating 343 Vietnamese citizens, 243 of whom were pregnant women — some getting close to their due dates.
The flight taking these 343 passengers to Vietnam was a Vietnam Airlines Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner, flight VN571.
While the 243 pregnant women were the most notable passengers, the flight was full of special cases and included the following:
-Children under 18 years of age
-Those with underlying medical conditions
-One seriously ill patient (suffering from pancreatic cancer)
-Citizens who have overstayed their Taiwanese visas (including stranded tourists, migrant workers and students)
The UN International Organization for Migration notes that Taiwan is a major destination for Vietnamese migrant workers, particularly in the manufacturing and fisheries industries. In fact, of the 46,200 Vietnamese migrants working abroad in 2002, nearly 30% went to Taiwan. The only other countries more popular for Vietnamese migrant workers are Laos and Malaysia.
Vietnam Airlines says that it will continue to coordinate with the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Transport, domestic functional agencies and overseas representative missions to organize future flights and continue to bring Vietnamese citizens back home.