The first 179 Vietnamese workers evacuated from Libya arrived in Hanoi Saturday morning after their flight was delayed for one day.
One of the workers, Nguyen Ba Kieu from the central province of Nghe An, said the delay was caused by crowds at the Tripoli airport, as thousands of people were leaving the northern African country, which is in turmoil caused by anti-government demonstrations.
They were brought to Malta and transited at Dubai before heading for Vietnam, he said, adding that it took them 48 hours to reach Hanoi's Noi Bai airport.
Dao Cong Hai, deputy chief of the Department of Overseas Labor, said another three flights carrying Vietnamese workers were expected to arrive in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City later the same day.
As of Friday, 4,579 Vietnamese workers were preparing to leave Libya, while another 1,309 had already reached nearby countries, including 285 on their way back to Vietnam by air, according to the department.
Department officials had said earlier that Vietnam plans to evacuate about 10,000 workers from the country by bringing them to other countries by road or sea first and then sending them home by air.
The department is cooperating with Vietnamese representative agencies in countries like Italy, Tunisia, Malta and Egypt as well as local offices to pick Vietnamese workers at borders and bring them to safe places, Hai said.
Hai also said that all the workers will receive support from an overseas employment fund and employment agencies after they come home.