Data Analysis and Visualization

COVID-19 Impacts on Air Travel: A Vietnam Perspective

Parvathy Krishnan
6 min readJul 7, 2020

By Parvathy Krishnan, Kai Kaiser, and Ashish Kalani

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a massive reduction of international and domestic air travel. Global Aviation API provided by Aviationstack offers a near real-time basis for assessing the extent to which air travel was impacted across a number of emerging economies as viewed through international and domestic air travel activity.

Air travel is not only an economically important sector in its own right, but is the lifeblood of wider commerce, tourism, and family relations. Understanding the impact and recovery of this sector by countries in near real-time is therefore vital in helping craft potential policy responses.

In this blog, we look at how travel restrictions evolved and affected domestic and international travel in Vietnam.

Flight network data straddles the dimensions of network destinations, routes, and time. Good near-real-time data visualizations ideally succinctly capture trends over time, but also a decomposition across space as different places emerge from COVID-19 at difference paces.

The reductions made to the trajectory of policy stringency, based on an international index available from Oxford can give insights on how the government policies changed over time with respect to domestic and international travel.

The figure below shows that after starting to decline in February, both international and domestic flight travel came to a stand-still in Vietnam in April.

International and Domestic Flights in Vietnam responding to the Policy Stringency changes (Data until June 21, 2020)

Domestic Flights

On March 30, the Ministry of Transport green-lit the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam’s proposal to limit domestic flights from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to other cities and provinces to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Many policy changes happened over time, and currently at a Stringency Index of around 66, rebounding of domestic air travel is evident, with reports that flights within Vietnam are getting close to full seating capacity following the lifting of social distancing restrictions on aircraft and passenger number limitations.

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Parvathy Krishnan

Lead Data Scientist | CTO at Analytics for a Better World | Public Sector Consultant