New flight routes are opening this month that will provide a broader range of options for travellers hoping to visit Laos, as LaoSafe certification of the country's two airlines, Lao Airlines and Lao Skyway, will ensure that passengers can be confident of boarding a flight with high hygiene standards.
Both of Laos' airlines have now been fully certified under the SafeFlight standard, one of a series of health and hygiene certifications under the LaoSafe programme.
SafeFlight ensures that cabin crew and flight staff abide by strict hygiene regulations to ensure a clean and comfortable flight for passengers.
"The LaoSafe certification has allowed us to demonstrate our commitment to safe and clean hygiene travel standards for everyone," affirms Mr Sitthideth Douangsiththy, Deputy Director of Lao Airlines. "Building trust among local and international flyers with the certification on board, our cabin crew follow the LaoSafe hygiene standards, giving passengers the cleanest possible experience," he added.
According to the SafeFlight standards, all airline personnel must follow health and hygiene protocols set in place for maximum cleanliness. This includes undergoing daily temperature screening, frequent environmental cleaning and disinfection, wearing masks in the airport and for the duration of the flights, wearing gloves when handling travellers' personal belongings, regularly washing hands, and providing safety amenities to passengers.
Col Siviengthong Konnyvong, CEO of Lao Skyway, spoke of the company's pride at achieving the SafeFlight accreditation.
"Lao Skyway is extremely proud of earning the LaoSafe certification. Tourists can be assured that their travels in Laos abide by the highest hygiene standards," he remarked.
Flights connecting Hanoi, Vietnam, and Chiang Mai, Thailand, with the UNESCO World Heritage town of Luang Prabang will be available in the coming months. Lao Airlines has also increased the frequency of its popular route between Vientiane and Seoul, a firm favourite for Korean tourists, as well as an important transit link for other long-haul travellers. Lao Airlines also offers flights to and from major regional destinations such as Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, and Siem Reap.
Implemented by the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, and approved by the Ministry of Health, LaoSafe is a nationwide initiative designed to create a world-class health and hygiene system within the tourism and hospitality industry. Sector-specific standards have been developed for accommodation, food and beverage, tour guides, and drivers, to raise the benchmark of hygiene provision throughout the country and to build international confidence in Laos as a safe tourist destination.
Lao Skyway flies to ten destinations throughout Laos, including major cities such as Vientiane, Luang Prabang, and Pakse, where tourists can find plenty of LaoSafe-certified hotels and restaurants. Flights are also available to and from Oudomxay and Xieng Khouang, two fast-growing provinces that became hotspots among local travellers during the Lao Thiao Lao domestic tourism campaign.
The LaoSafe programme is supported by the Skills for Tourism Project (LAO/029), which is co-financed by the governments of the Lao PDR, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and Switzerland, and implemented by the Ministry of Education and Sports of Laos and LuxDev, the Luxembourg Development Cooperation Agency.