• by Liffity
  • Last Updated: 2019-12-11

Crowned as the land of abundance, Chengdu attracts thousands of travelers from home and abroad every day. Many international tourists travel to Chengdu because of the tasty food, ancient buildings, traditional cultures, and lovely pandas. It’s also the transportation hub of western China.

At present, its airport—Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport—is abuzz with flights to and from Lhasa, Tibet, with around 30 flights operating between Tibet and Chengdu. This airport is situated in Shuangliu County which is 16 km southwest of the city's downtown.

During the peak seasons of summer and autumn, there are around 17 daily direct flights to Tibet from Chengdu. These flights are operated by Tibet Airlines, Air China, and Sichuan Airlines. There are also some flights from Chengdu to other prefectures of Tibet like Shigatse, Nyingchi, and Qamdo. Moreover, flights to Tibet usually depart from Chengdu as early as 6 am.

Chengdu city scenery

Chengdu City, crowned as the land of abundance

Why Choose the Chengdu-to-Lhasa Route?

Chengdu is a thriving city of more than 14 million people. It is an important financial, economic, commercial, communication, and transportation hubs in western China and its airport belongs to the world's 30 busiest airports. There are many reasons why Chengdu is your best choice when going to Tibet, and here are some of these reasons:

  • First, Chengdu offers many flight options to Lhasa every day. On average, there are around 12-17 daily flights to Tibet from Chengdu. So, you will have flexible choices of flight schedules as well as cheaper fare if you choose Chengdu as your gateway to Tibet.
  • Second, there are myriads of international flights to Chengdu from cities like Los Angeles, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London, Bangkok, Seoul, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo, and many more.
  • Chengdu offers one of the shortest flights to Tibet. These flights usually take only 2.5 hours or less. Thus, the flight from Chengdu to Tibet belongs to the most convenient flights to Tibet.
  • Chengdu, as a transport hub, also has many flights coming from other domestic cities of China like Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Kunming, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Xian, etc.
  • Lastly, Chengdu is a thriving city, also known for being a tourist destination on its own. So, if you choose it as your gateway to Tibet, you should at least allow a day or two for touring the different tourist destinations of Chengdu.

The flight from Chengdu to Tibet is one of the shortest flights you can ever have to Tibet. It takes only two and a half hours. If you’re coming from one of the abovementioned international cities, you will surely find Chengdu your best choice. Besides, there are many tourist sites in Chengdu that are worth seeing. Thus, you can include these sites in your itinerary before proceeding to Tibet.

Chengdu-Lhasa Flight Chart

There are around 12-17 flights every day that fly to Lhasa Gonggar International Airport from Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport. Hence, you got a better chance of booking a flight to Tibet from this city. Besides, the distance between Chengdu and Lhasa is barely 768 miles which means the flight from Chengdu to Tibet is short and convenient. Here is a rundown of the different flights to Tibet from Chengdu:

Chengdu to Lhasa Flights

Flight No. Departure---Arrival Duration Frequency Plane Price

TV 9803

Tibet Airlines

06:00----08:30 2h 30m Every Day Airbus A330

USD307

Economy Class

3U8657

Sichuan Airlines

06:10----08:35 2h 25m Every Day Airbus A330

USD307

Economy Class

CA4403

Air China

06:15----08:45 2h 30m Every Day Airbus A319

USD307

Economy Class

EU2743

Chengdu Airlines

06:30----09:00 2h 30m Every Day Airbus A319

USD307

Economy Class

CA4401

Air China

07:20----09:45 2h 25m Every Day Airbus A330

USD307

Economy Class

3U8697

Sichuan Airlines

08:30----11:05 2h 35m Every Day Airbus A319

USD307

Economy Class

MU5825

Eastern Airlines

10:35----13:10 2h 35m Every Day Boeing 737

USD307

Economy Class

3U8695

Sichuan Airlines

11:25----14:15 2h 45m Every Day Airbus A319

USD307

Economy Class

CA4112

Air China

13:05----15:35 2h 30m Every Day Airbus A319

USD307

Economy Class

TV9882

Tibet Airlines

22:05----00:30 2h 25m Every Day Airbus A330

USD307

Economy Class

Lhasa to Chengdu Flights

Flight No. Departure---Arrival Duration Frequency Plane Price

TV 9804

Tibet Airlines

07:15----09:20 2h 05m Every Day Airbus A330

USD307

Economy Class

TV 9881

Tibet Airlines

09:45----11:50 2h 05m Every Day Airbus A330

USD307

Economy Class

3U8658

Sichuan Airlines

10:40----12:40 2h Every Day Airbus A330

USD307

Economy Class

CA4402

Air China

10:55----12:50 1h 55m Every Day Airbus A330

USD307

Economy Class

3U8698

Sichuan Airlines

12:05----14:10 2h 5m Every Day Airbus A319

USD307

Economy Class

MU5826

Eastern Airlines

14:00----15:55 1h 55m Every Day Boeing 737

USD307

Economy Class

3U8696

Sichuan Airlines

15:25----17:35 2h 10m Every Day Airbus A319

USD307

Economy Class

CA4111

Air China

16:45----18:45 2h  Every Day Airbus A319

USD307

Economy Class

CA4404

Air China

18:10----20:15 2h 5m Every Day Airbus A319

USD307

Economy Class

EU2744

Chengdu Airlines

19:00----20:55 1h 55m Every Day Airbus A319

USD307

Economy Class

Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport at a Glance

The Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport is considered the fourth busiest airport in China. It is also the fourth largest in the country. As the primary airport in the Southwestern part of China, it is the main hub and the location of the main headquarters of China Eastern Airlines and Sichuan Airlines. It is also the main hub for Chengdu Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines, Tibet Airlines, and Lucky Air.

Recognized as an International Port Airport in 1993, it gained the "Visa-on-arrival" rights in the year 2000. China's 72-hour visa-free transit policy was also applied to the airport in 2013. This policy allows flight passengers from other countries (53 countries) to transit and, at the same time, stay up to 3 days in eighteen China Cities without needing a visa.

Travelers from the major cities of Europe, Australia, North America, Africa, the Middle East, East Asia, Southeast Asia, and other regions have direct flights to Chengdu. Furthermore, Chengdu is highly linked to many destinations in China such as Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Kunming, and Lhasa.

Scenic Shuttle BusShuangliu Airport

When in Chengdu, you can always avail of the 72-Hour Transit Visa-free Airport Scenic Shuttle Bus. This bus can take travelers to the different tourist destinations of Chengdu that include the Research Base for the Giant Panda Breeding, Wuhou Memorial Temple, Jinli Old Street, Kuanzhai Alley, Jinsha Site Museum, Dufu Thatched Cottage, Dujiangyan Irrigation System, Sanxingdui Museum, Mount Qingcheng, and many other tourist destinations in Chengdu.

The Two Terminals of Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport

There are two terminals at Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport, namely: Terminal 1 (T1) and Terminal 2 (T2). You need to go to the correct terminal of the airport so that you will not get lost or be late for your flight. Sichuan Airlines and other international flights use Terminal 1. The other airlines, on the other hand, such as Air China, China Southern Air, China Eastern Air, Shenzhen Airlines, and other airlines operate in Terminal 2.

Transport Modes To/From the Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport

There are different modes of transport from the Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport to downtown Chengdu. These modes of transport include taxis which may cost you 20 to 50 CNY. There is also the bullet train to Chengdu South Rail Station and East Railway Station. From there, you can take the metros if you want to go to any area of the city. At present, there is also the recently built Metro Line 10 that begins at Taipingyuan and terminates at Terminal 2.

Flights from Chengdu to Other Tibet Prefectures

 Nyingchi Mainling AirportLhasa Gonggar International Airport is not the only airport in Tibet. So, besides boarding flights from Chengdu to Lhasa Gonggar Airport (LXA), you can also board flights to other prefectures of Tibet like those of Nyingci, Shigatse, and Qamdo. The flights to these cities, however, are limited and thus, you should book early.

From Chengdu, there is a daily flight to Shigatse Peace Airport. This flight usually departs early at 6 am. There are also three daily flights going to Nyingchi Mainling Airport from Chengdu likewise. These flights also depart at the early hours of the morning from 6:15 to 8:15 am. Additionally, there are also three flights from Chengdu to Qamdo Prefecture though this region is less visited by tourists.

Flight No. Departure---Arrival Duration Frequency Plane Price

3U8693

Sichuan Airlines

07:45----10:00

CTU -- LZY

2h 15m Every Day Airbus A319

USD211

Economy Class

CA4431

Air China

08:15----10:25

CTU -- LZY

 2h 10m Every Day Airbus A319

USD211

Economy Class

TV9848

Tibet Airlines

08:30----10:35

CTU -- LZY

2h 5m Every Day Airbus A319

USD211

Economy Class

TV9843

Tibetan Airlines

06:20----09:10

CTU -- RKZ

2h 50m Every Day Airbus A319

USD260

Economy Class

TV9894

Tibetan Airlines

08:15----09:50

CTU -- BPX

1h 35m Every Day Airbus A319

USD243

Economy Class

CA4409

Air China

08:30----10:05

CTU -- BPX

1h 35m Every Day Airbus A319

USD243

Economy Class

Necessary Permits for this Travel

Tibet Travel Permit Any traveler who wants to travel to Tibet needs to have the Tibet Travel Permit. This permit will be checked as you get in and out of the airport. You need to have three photocopies of this document because you will be required to present this permit on several occasions. Your travel agency will process this travel permit. Yet, you need to apply earlier for this permit because the processing of this permit would usually take up to 20 days.

You can contact a certified tour agency in Tibet if you want to apply for this permit. Then, you should send a photocopy or scanned copy of your passport to this agency. Afterward, this agency will apply on your behalf for a Tibet Travel Permit at the Tibet Tourism Bureau in Lhasa. Once this permit is issued, your tour agency will send it to you by post.

You will also need to have a Chinese Visa. This visa is necessary before you can enter China. This visa will be checked before you board a flight or train to Tibet. You should also have your passport with you because, on many occasions, you will need to present your passport, especially when checking in a flight, booking a flight, checking in a hotel, and many other situations.

Arrival at Lhasa Gonggar International Airport

After 2.5 hours of air travel, you will arrive at the largest airport called "Lhasa Gonggar International Airport" (LXA). This airport is 62 kilometers from Lhasa, being located in Gonggar County, Shannan Prefecture. It is situated 11,710 ft above sea level and only Boeing 747 and Airbus A340 can lad in this airport.Lhasa Gongga Airport

This airport is serviced only by one international flight from Kathmandu. During peak season, there are one or two daily direct flights that ply the Kathmandu-Lhasa air route. These flights are operated by Sichuan Airlines and Air China.

Being the most important airport in Tibet, the Lhasa Gonggar Airport caters to many domestic flights from the other cities of China that include Chengdu, Shanghai, Xian, Guangzhou, Kunming, Xining, Chongqing, Shangri-La, and many other domestic cities. Chengdu is one of these domestic cities that offers direct flights to Lhasa.

How to Reach Downtown Lhasa from the Airport?

Since Lhasa Gonggar Airport is around 60km from downtown, you will need to travel from the airport to downtown Lhasa. The travel time from the airport to downtown Lhasa usually takes only one to two hours. There are different modes of transport that you can use to reach downtown Lhasa, and here are the modes of transport you can take:

Airport Shuttle

Regular buses ply the Airport-Lhasa route. There are also airport shuttle buses that you can take, and the fare will cost you 30 RMB. It usually takes one to two hours to reach downtown Lhasa. The seats in airport shuttle are usually in high demand, hence, it is better to get a guaranteed seat. The downside of riding an airport shuttle is that you have to wait for the bus to be full before the shuttle travel.

Taxis

Lhasa taxiYou can also opt to hail a taxi upon arrival at the Lhasa Gonggar Airport. It may be a bit difficult to hail a taxi at the airport and taxi fares usually cost 160RMB up to 200RMB. A taxi ride from the airport is faster and it usually takes only an hour to reach downtown. One caveat when riding a taxi is this—make sure you agree about the fare before you get into a taxi.

Private Transfer Service

If you are traveling to Tibet through the help of a tour agency, your tour agency usually would provide you with a private transfer service. Your private driver will usually wait for you outside the airport to pick you up. This transfer service is more convenient because it would bring you directly to your hotel.

Frequently Asked Questions About Chengdu-Tibet Flights

  1. What is the ideal time to visit Tibet?

The highly recommended season for traveling to Tibet by plane is from April up to October. The other months are more often very cold with heavy snowfall. Moreover, during these months, flights are more frequent, giving you more flight options at hand.

Tibet is also of high altitude. So, you will need some time to acclimate yourself to its weather. Hence, it is highly suggested that you go for an early flight to give your body more time to adjust to Tibet’s high-altitude weather during the day.

  1. Is there any direct international flight to Tibet?

There is no direct international flight to Tibet except that of the flight coming from Kathmandu, Nepal. Kathmandu is just 375 miles from Lhasa, and it will take you one and a half hours to reach Lhasa Gonggar Airport from Kathmandu. During peak travel season, there are around two daily flights from Kathmandu to Lhasa.

  1. Are there tourist sites in Chengdu?

There are many natural, historical and cultural sites in Chengdu. You can visit Mount Qingcheng, for example, which is an important Taoist center in China. There you'll see the Fujian Temple, Tianshi Cave, Shizu Hall, and many other Taoist holy sites. You'll also see the Shangqing Temple which is known for its holy lights.

You can also visit Dujianyan Irrigation System known for being the oldest existing irrigation project in China. You should also never miss the Giant Panda Sanctuaries, covering around 9,245 sq. miles. You can also visit the Kuanzhai Ancient Street of the Qing Dynasty as well as the Jinli Pedestrian Street.

  1. Is it better to travel alone or in a group when in China?

If you are traveling to China alone, you can choose to travel individually. However, if you are going to travel to Tibet, you need to be on an organized group tour which is your best option when traveling to Tibet. So, if ever you decide to travel to Tibet via Chengdu, you can readily contact our customer service, and we will facilitate your travel to Tibet.

  1. Are there other Airports in Tibet that have flights coming from Chengdu?

Tibet basically has 4 airports aside from Lhasa Gonggar Airport. These airports are Shigatse Peace Airport (RKZ), Nyingchi Mainling Airport (LZY), Qamdo Banda Airport (BPX), and Ngari Gunsa Airport (NGQ). Yet, only the Shigatse, Nyingchi, and Qamdo airports have flights from Chengdu.

Shigatse Peace Airport is around 46 km from Shigatse City which is the second-largest city in Tibet. The Nyingchi Mainling Airport, on the other hand, is located in the Yarlung Tsangpo River Valley. It is known as one of the most difficult airports to reach for an aircraft. The Qamdo Bamda Airport, however, is situated in Bamda village. It is a 2.5-hour drive from Qamdo, the country seat.

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