Kunming to Lhasa Flight: Getting to Tibet from Yunnan by Air

Last updated: September,03 2020

Although Kunming is one of the closest provincial capitals to Lhasa from mainland China, there is no direct train running between the two cities at present. The best ways to travel from Kunming to Lhasa is to take a flight or drive overland. For tourists who have no sufficient time or feel afraid of the challenging road trip, taking the flight will be a better choice. Check this article to know the latest flight information from Kunming to Lhasa.

Kunming to Lhasa Flight Schedule and Price

Kunming is a popular tourist city where each season seems like spring. And it is also an important city for many tourists to transfer from China to Tibet. From Kunming to Lhasa, it is 1256 kilometers by air, which largely shortens the road distance of 2502 kilometers. In most cases, one can take a direct flight to transfer between the two cities.

Kunming CityKunming City Scenery

Kunming to Lhasa Flight Schedule

Currently, there are three daily flights departing from Kunming to Lhasa, two being non-stop flights and one with a stop in Lijiang on the way. The flights leave respectively at 07:30 in the morning, 15:50 in the afternoon, and 20:55 in the evening. It takes about 3 – 4 hours to get to the airport in Lhasa, Tibet. Operating airlines include Chinese Eastern Airlines (MU9737), Sichuan Airlines (3U8817), and Tibet Airlines (TV9862).

From/ToFlight NumberDep./Arr.Stopover
Kunming-Lhasa 3U8817 07:30 - 11:50 Lijiang
Kunming-Lhasa MU9737 15:50 - 18:35 --
Kunming-Lhasa TV9862 20:55 - 23:45 --

Please Note: The above timetable and schedule are just for your reference. Please check the exact information with your travel consultant.

On the contrary, the flight back to Kunming departs at 09:30 am, 13:00 pm and 16:05 pm from Lhasa Gonggar Airport. The flight operated by Sichuan Airlines, which leaves at 13:00, will have a stop in Lijiang en route. And the other two flights will fly directly to Kunming Changshui International Airport.

From/ToFlight NumberDep./Arr.Stopover
Lhasa-Kunming TV9861 09:30 -12:05 --
Lhasa-Kunming 3U8818 13:00 - 17:15 Lijiang
Lhasa-Kunming MU9738 16:05 – 18:30 --

Please Note: The above timetable and schedule are just for your reference. Please check the exact information with your travel consultant.

Kunming to Lhasa Flight Price

The flight price from Kunming to Lhasa will vary from high season to low season. For Tibet tours, the high season is from April to October, and the low season is the winter time. Besides, during some special periods including the traditional Chinese festivals or summer vacations, there will also be a lot of tourists travelling to Tibet by air.

Generally, an economic class ticket for Kunming to Lhasa flight can range from $130 to $150 during shoulder season. And the price for non-stop flight will be a little higher than that of a connecting flight with a stop. For example, for the Kunming to Lhasa flights departing on the same day, the one with a stop in Lijiang is the cheapest compared to the other two, since it will fly for about one more hour.

How to Book the Flight Ticket from Kunming to Lhasa?

Booking the flight online is the most popular option nowadays, since it is convenient and time-saving. For booking flight from Kunming to Lhasa, one can go to some major booking websites like Expedia, Trip.com etc. Or one can go directly to the official websites of the Airlines that handle these flights.

Kunming to Lhasa FlightOne can book the flight from Kunming to Lhasa online.

When check the flight information, one need to pay attention to some essential things except for the price, like policy on ticket cancellation or change, free luggage allowance etc. The earlier you book your flight, more chances you will have to cancel or change your flight within the required time.

As a better choice, you can contact us for professional help. As the leading tibet tour operator with years of experiences, we can help to book your Kunming to Lhasa flight according to your needs. We will make comparisons and choose the suitable flight at a reasonable price. In this way, you will not bother with complex booking process.

Get the Tibet Travel Permit Before You Go

Only a single flight ticket will be not enough for you to get to Tibet from Kunming. You need to obtain the Tibet Travel Permit as the same time, before you take the flight. The Tibet Travel Permit is a must for all international tourists to visit Tibet, and should be obtained before one enters Tibet. It will be checked at the airport before you board your flight from Kunming to Lhasa.

Since the Tibet Travel Permit can not be applied by individual according to the policy, you need to contact an authorized travel agency like us, to help get your permit on behalf of you. Your Chinese Visa and passport should be prepared for the application, and it normally takes 8 to 9 working days to get the permit issued. To avoid extra waiting time, it is recommended to start to apply for the permit at least two weeks earlier before your travel date.

How to Get to the Airport in Kunming?

To take the flight from Kunming to Lhasa, one need to get to the Kunming Changshui International Airport, which is 24.5 km northeast to the city center. The airport is also one of the most important airports in southwest China, operating numerous flights from both home and abroad.

Kunming AirportThe airport in Kunming can be reached by metro line or shuttle bus.

The Metro Line 6 is opened specially for the airport transfer. The metro train leaves every 25 minutes from 06:20 am to 23:00 pm every day. Crossing eight stations including the airport station, the train runs for 23 minutes for one round, and ticket price are RMB 5. Besides, there are over then airport shuttle buses that leave from different districts to the airport. The ticket price for the shuttle bus is RMB 25 per person.

Take Flights to Tibet from Other Cities in Yunnan

In addition to Kunming, one can also take flights to Tibet from Shangri-La or Lijiang, which are other two important cities in Yunnan provinces. For tourists who will spend several days touring Yunnan before head to Tibet, one will probably end your visit in these cities like Shangri-La or Lijiang, and then take flights from there to Lhasa.

Shangri-La to Lhasa Flight

Shangri-La is the prefecture capital of Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Yunnan Province. It is 663.7 kilometers to the northwest of Kunming city. The flight from Shangri-La departs every day at 13:00 pm and arrives in Lhasa at 15:25 pm. It is operated by China Eastern Airlines, in the type of medium-sized aircraft.

From/ToFlight NumberDep./Arr.Stopover
Shangri-La - Lhasa MU5774 13:00 - 15:25 --

Please Note: The above timetable and schedule are just for your reference. Please check the exact information with your travel consultant.

Lijiang to Lhasa Flight

As a prefecture-level city of Yunnan province, Lijiang is a famous tourist destination. It is also the important crossing point of the Silk Road and Tea Horse Road in ancient times. It is close to Shangri-La, being 527 km from Kunming city. From Lijiang, there is one direct fight to Lhasa every day. Operated by Sichuan Airlines, the flight departs at 08:30 am from Sanyi Airport in Lijiang and arrives in Lhasa at 10:35 am. The flight price starts from $150 for economic class ticket.

From/ToFlight NumberDep./Arr.Stopover
Lijiang - Lhasa 3U8817 08:30 -10:35 --

Please Note: The above timetable and schedule are just for your reference. Please check the exact information with your travel consultant.


Taking flights to Tibet is a convenient way for one to get to the plateau from Yunnan. In most cases, one can take the flight from Kunming to Lhasa, which departs several times per day. Or, one can fly to Tibet from Shangri-La or Lijiang, based on your travel itinerary. Before taking the flight, one need to obtain the Tibet Travel Permit as well. For more information on travelling to Tibet, please feel free to contact us for any question you are wondering.

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