- by Ghita
- Last Updated: 2021-03-01
What is the best way to travel to Tibet? For foreign travelers, flying to Tibet is a much better option, not only faster but also cost-effective, since the train tickets have to be booked in advance and overland has to be accompanied by a local guide & vehicle. There're 5 major airports in Tibet, namely, Lhasa Gonngar Airport, Nyingchi Mainling Airport, Shigatse Peace Airport, Qamdo Bangda Airport, and Ngari Gunsa Airport. For tourists who travel to Tibet by air, it's necessary to know the general info of airports in Tibet so as to find a better airport that meets your demand.
Since there are no direct long-haul flights to Lhasa, travelers usually have a stopover in mainland China, to receive their original Tibet Travel Permit, then carry it on to fly to Lhasa. In China, there are non-stop flights connecting Lhasa with Chengdu, Chongqing, Diqing(Shangrila), Xining, and Xian, while direct flights connecting Lhasa with Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou make stops at Chengdu, Chongqing, Diqing or Xian. Flying from Chengdu will be most convenient, as more than 15 flights leaving Chengdu for Lhasa. Besides, direct flights from other cities often go through Chengdu.
|Flight Route||Duration||One Way per Person|
|Chengdu ↔ Lhasa||2h 30m||CNY 1680|
|Chongqing ↔ Lhasa||2h 20m||CNY 1890|
|Beijing ↔ Lhasa||5h 30m||CNY 3260|
|Shanghai ↔ Lhasa||5h 30m||CNY 3340|
|Xian ↔ Lhasa||3h 10m||CNY 2280|
|Xining ↔ Lhasa||2h30m||CNY 1850|
|Diqin (=Shangrila) ↔ Lhasa||2h||CNY 1570|
|Guangzhou ↔ Lhasa||5h20m||CNY 2690|
There is only one international airline getting to Tibet - Kathmandu to Lhasa Flight. Travelers often arrive at Kathmandu and then transfer to Lhasa, but departures are limited.
|Flight Route||Duration||One Way per Person|
|Kathmandu ↔ Lhasa||1h20m||Changeable|
Tibet Airport List
Presently, there are five main airports in Tibet. Among those five airports, Lhasa Gonngar International Airport is the most significant airport in Tibet and Qamdo Bangda Airport is the highest airport in Tibet. Although Nyingchi Mainling Airport is the lowest airport in Tibet, it is more difficult to fly than any other airports in Tibet. In addition, there are another two important airports in Tibet-- Shigatse Peace Airport and Ngari Gunsa Airport.
Lhasa Gonngar International Airport
Lhasa Gonggar International Airport, located at Gyazuling Town of Gonggar County of Shannan Prefecture. It's one of the highest airports in the world with an elevation of 3,570 meters. Undoubtedly it is also the major air hub for entry and exit of Tibet, both domestically and internationally, with non-stop flights connecting Lhasa with Chengdu, Chongqing, Diqing, Xian, Bamda (a town of Chamdo, Tibet) and Kathmandu (capital of Nepal).
As a 4E level Airport with a runway of 4000m long and 45m wide, Lhasa Gonggar Airport can be used for taking-off and landing of Boeing 747, Airbus and other large aircraft which make it the first choice for the majority of the tourists.
Airport Code: LXA
Airport Altitude: 3600m
How far from the downtown: around 60km’s drive from the airport to Lhasa city
Nyingchi Mainling Airport
Located in the Yarlung Zangbo River, in Nyingchi County, Mainling Airport, with an altitude of only 2,949 meters (9675 feet). Nyingchi Mainling Airport is the lowest airport in Tibet. While due to its unique topography, changeable weather and dense clouds, lush forest and ample precipitation, it was considered to be the most challenging airport. Nyingchi Airport, the 3rd civil airport in Tibet, formally went into operation in 2006, providing more conveniences to domestic and overseas tourists to Tibet. It provides a nonstop flight to Nyingchi from Chengdu, Chongqing, Lhasa, and Guangzhou, or connecting flights from Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Guilin, Lanzhou with a transfer at Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport or Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport are both available.
Nyingchi Airport may become many tourists' first stop in Tibet because its altitude is less than 3,000 meters, allowing visitors to acclimatize themselves gradually to higher altitudes.
Airport Code: LZY
Airport Altitude: 2949m
How far from the downtown: around 50kms' drive to Bayi County, the capital of Nyingchi County.
Shigatse Peace Airport
Opening from October 30, 2010, Shigatse is located 250km from Lhasa and it normally takes 3-4 hours to get with good road conditions. Flights now only take 2 hours and 15 minutes from Chengdu to Shigatse and 30 minutes from Lhasa to Shigatse.
As the fifth civil airport in Tibet, Shigatse Peace Airport serves both for civilian and military use. The airport, located in Jiangdong Village, 43km away from Shigatse downtown is an important link between Tibet and Chengdu, a metropolis in the south-west of China. Meanwhile, built near the world's tallest peak Mount Everest, it is much more convenient for tourists to fly to Shigatse to visit Mt. Everest, Tashilhunpo Monastery and many other famous spots than taking a train.
Airport Code: RKZ
Airport Altitude: 3782m
How far from the downtown: around 50km's drive to Shigatse City.
Qamdo Bangda Airport
Qamdo Bangda Airport, located at the Bangda prairie, in the narrow and long valley of the west bank of Yuqu River, is the farthest airport to downtown. Qamdo Bangda Airport is also one of the highest airports in the world of which the altitude is about 4300m. Considered as one of the most challenging airports, the climate in Qamdo Banda Airport is terrible that the wind seep reaches 30m/second in winter and the temperature is under -20 degrees centigrade in winter and spring. Besides, the air density is only 50% of the sea level. Flights here are frequently delayed due to the harsh weather in the plateau. Therefore, most tourists prefer Lhasa Airport to Qamdo Bangda Airport. With the current flights to Lhasa, Chengdu, Chongqing, Tianjin, and Anhui Fuyang, Qamdo Bangda Airport offers a convenient way to visit famous spots, like Ranwu Lake and Karuo Relics in Qamdo.
Airport Code: BPC
Airport Altitude: 4334m
How far from the downtown: around 130km's drive to Chamdo City.
Ngari Gunsa Airport
As another entrance to Tibet, Nagri Gunsa Airport situated 45km from southwest Shiquanhe, which put into operation in 2010. As one of the high plateau airports, it is able to serve the takeoff and landing of High-plateau-typed airplanes. Up to now, tourists can get to Ngari from Lhasa, Urumqi, and Kashgar by flight. With a 4500 meters long and 60 meters wide runway, the airport can meet the fly and landing requirements of planes like Airbus A319.
Farthest from Lhasa among all Tibetan prefectures, Ngari is difficult for tourists to get to due to long-distance and poor road conditions. Before the airport, Ngari was linked to Lhasa only by road and it took 3 days to cover the 1,600-km route. Luckily, Ngari now is easily accessible. It will take only one and a half hours to reach Ngari from Lhasa. What’s more, Ngari Airport will make less-than-4-hour traffic possible from Chengdu to Ngari.
Airport Code: NGQ
Airport Altitude: 4274m
How far from the downtown: around 50km'drive to Shiquanhe.
Chongqing to Lhasa Flight
Check the guides about booking flight tickets from Chongqing to Tibet, including the flight schedules, ticket price, airport info, transportation, required documents, and so on.
Flights to Tibet from Singapore
Taking a flight to Tibet has become a popular way for Singaporeans who plan a trip to Tibet. The majority of tourists like to fly to mainland China, such as Chengdu, Chongqing, Beijing/Shanghai, Guangzhou or Kathmandu in Nepal and then transfer to Lhasa.
Flights To Tibet from India
If you are flying from India to Tibet, you are suggested to fly to Kathmandu then Lhasa. For cities without direct flights to Kathmandu, you can fly to Delhi first as most connecting flights to Kathmandu have a layover in Delhi. Alternatively, you can also fly from Delhi to Tibet via Major Chinese Cities.
Kathmandu to Lhasa Flight
Taking a flight from Kathmandu to Lhasa is a good option as it's quick and convenient. You can choose direct flights from Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport(KTM) to Lhasa Gonggar Airport(LXA). Check the list of the flight schedules, price, required documents, duration, and so on.
Xi'an to Lhasa Flights
There are multiple direct flights from Xian to Lhasa and from Lhasa to Xian. It takes about 3hrs 20mins for direct flight from Xian to Lhasa. The ticket price is USD319 p.p.
Guangzhou to Lhasa Flight
There is only one direct flight operated by China South Airlines from Guangzhou to Lhasa, Tibet. The duration is about six hours including the one-hour-stopover in Chongqing. Here're also guides to travel from Shengzhen or Hongkong to Tibet via Guangzhou.
Chengdu to Lhasa Flight
There are many flights from Chengdu to Lhasa from 06:00-22:10, with a full price of USD305. This article gives a detailed introduction to Chengdu-Lhasa flight schedules, ticket fare, airport traffic, and precautions for entering Tibet by plane.
Hongkong to Lhasa Flights
There’s no direct flight between Hongkong and Lhasa. Tourists who want to travel to Tibet from Hong Kong have to take connecting flights via Chengdu, Chongqing, or Xián.
Kunming to Lhasa Flights
At present, there are five direct flights between Kunming and Lhasa operated by Sichuan Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, and Tibet Airlines, including three nonstop flights and two flights with one stop in Lijiang. The ticket price is USD315.
Shanghai to Lhasa Flights
Shanghai to Lhasa flight is a convenient and time-saving way. At present, there're four direct daily flights between Shanghai and Lhasa. The travel duration is about 7 to 9 hours with a stopover in Xián or in Chengdu.The full air price is USD480 p.p. for the economic class.
How to Book Flights to Tibet? (the easiest way)
The easiest way to book a flight to Tibet is to entrust your travel agent to take care of everything for you. Therefore you don't need to face the problem of being required to present your Tibet Travel Permit for booking.
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