How can I get to Tibet easily? For overseas visitors from far away, flying to Tibet is by no means difficult. In fact it is quite easy as flying into Tibet is very much faster than any other ground transports and one can save more time to explore Tibet. Additionally, it's rather difficult for individual tourists to get a train ticket by themselves especially during the busy Tibet railway travel season.
Here we've gathered all the information you need to know about flights to and from Lhasa, including Tibet flights schedule and simple introduction of all Tibet airports. By far, there are 5 airports in Tibet in operation: Lhasa Airport, Chamdo Airport and Nyingchi Airport, as well as Ngari Airport and Shigaze Airport. Additionally, a sixth airport in Nagchu is planned.
Lhasa Gonggar Airport (LXA)
Lhasa Gonggar Airport is about 65 km (41 miles) from Lhasa downtown via the new Lhasa Airport Highway. There are non-stop flights between Lhasa and Chengdu, Chongqing, Diqing, Xi'an, Bamda (a town of Chamdo, Tibet) and Kathmandu (capital of Nepal). In the mean time, direct flights connect Lhasa with Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Kunming with stops at Chengdu, Chongqing, Xi'ning, Xi'an, and Diqing-Shangri-la). Flow us to get more information on Tibet gateway airport-Lhasa Gonggar Airport.
However Chengdu is the most important hub for flights going to and from Tibet as there are about 6 to 10 flights a day leaving Chengdu for Lhasa or vice versa. Besides, direct flights from other cities often go through Chengdu. Chengdu boasts many tourist attractions, including its famous Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, the Ancient Sanxingdui Ruins, and the Terracotta Warriors No. 2 (the more famous Terracotta Warriors are in Xian). On the other hand, there are also many international flights to Chengdu thus you can fly to Lhasa the next day. So we recommend our tourists to stay overnight in Chengdu to take advantage of the tourists attractions. Follow this quick link to learn more about Lhasa and Tibet.
To learn some Lhasa flights information, please click here.
Here below is the routing map of the current Tibet flights:
Chamdo Bamda Airport
Chamdo Bamda Airport is the highest airport in the world till now, at an elevation of 4,334 meters, with one of the longest runway. Chamdo Airport is far from Chamdo town (distance: 140 km) and flights here are delayed frequently due to the harsh weather in the plateau thus there is no fixed flight schedule, the tickets can only be issued in counter desk for the paper ticket in about 1 week before flight departure. Therefore, most tourists prefer Lhasa Airport rather than Chamdo Airport.
Learn some tips for the Chamdo airport
Nyingchi Milin Airport, the 3rd civil airport in Tibet, formally went into operation in 2006, providing more conveniences to domestic and overseas tourists to Tibet. Nyingchi Airport may become many tourists' first stop in Tibet because its altitude is less than 3,000 meters, allowing visitors to get well acclimatized and adapt to higher altitudes gradually.
Remember to look out the window! Along the way you'll be delighted by the breathtaking scenery of southeastern Tibet prior to your Lhasa tour.
Read more about Nyingchi Flights Schedule.
Ngari Gunsa Airport in northwest Tibet opens from July 1, 2010. Farthest from Lhasa among all Tibetan prefectures, Ngari is difficult for tourists to get to due to long distance and poor road condition. 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 hour to reach Ngari from Lhasa. What’s more, Ngari Airport will make a less-than-4-hour traffic possible from Chengdu to Ngari.
Shigatse Peace Airport, built near the world's tallest peak Mount Everest in Xigaze Tibet, opens from October 30, 2010, marking the launching of the 5th civil airport of Tibet. Xigaze is located 250km from Lhasa and it normally takes 3-4 hours to get there due to poor road conditions. Flights now only take 2 hours and 15 minutes from Chengdu to Xigaze and 30 minutes from Lhasa to Shigatse.