How to Take a Flight to Lhasa

Last updated: August,22 2018

Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet, also known as the roof of the world, is accessible by flight, train, and road. Going to Tibet by flight is the fastest way. It is convenient and the flights to Lhasa are available from almost all the major cities in China and Kathmandu in Nepal. Even though you will be seeing less scenery as compared to going by Tibet train or road, you will be saving lot time. If you are planning only for a 5-day or 7-day trip to Tibet, going by flight is the ideal choice. Here is some information to make your Tibet flight booking easier.

 Taking a Flight to Lhasa Taking a Flight, you can overlook Lhasa

Obtain Tibet Travel Permit before You Go

To be able to book a flight to Lhasa, you must first obtain the travel permits that required to enter Tibet. In addition to Chinese visa, you must obtain Tibet Travel Permit which is like a Tibet visa. This can be obtained through your travel agency. You will be asked to send an electronic copy of your passport and Chinese visa to the agency. Without the permit you cannot book Tibet flight tickets or book any hotels for accommodation in Tibet. If you want to travel outside of Lhasa you should get an additional permit known as the Alien’s Travel Permit for an Everest Base Camp tour and a military permit if you want to explore remote areas in Tibet, like Mount Kailash and Lake Manasarovar.

Latest Flight Schedule to Lhasa

Some of the cities from where you can take a flight to Lhasa are Chengdu, Beijing, Shanghai, Xi’an, Guangzhou, Xining and Kunming in China and Kathmandu in Nepal. There are no direct international flights to Lhasa from any other countries except Nepal. It is suggested to arrive at Beijing, Shanghai or Chengdu first, and then leave to Tibet from those cities by air.

Some of the airlines that operate flights to Lhasa, Tibet are Air China, China Eastern Airlines, Sichuan Airlines, West Air China, Lucky Airlines, etc. There are at least three to four flights per week from the above mentioned cities. Chengdu and Kathmandu have daily flights to Tibet during peak tourism seasons. Here are flight schedules from some of the cities.

Chengdu to Lhasa Flight Schedule

AirlineDepartureArrivalTimingsDuration
Sichuan Airlines Chengdu (CTU) Lhasa (LXA)  6:10 TO 8: 30
12:05 TO 12:45
8:30 TO 10: 55
2h 25m (approx.)
Air China Chengdu (CTU) Lhasa (LXA) 6: 25 to 8:50
12: 45 to 15: 05
8: 15 to 10: 40
2h 30m (approx.)
China Eastern Chengdu (CTU) Lhasa (LXA) 8: 25 to 10: 50 2h 30m (approx.)
Shenzhen Airlines Chengdu (CTU) Lhasa (LXA) 7: 15 to 9: 35 2h 30m (approx.)

Shanghai to Lhasa Flight Schedule

AirlineDepartureStopoverArrivalTimingsDuration
Shenzen Airlines and Air China Shanghai (PVG) Chengdu (6hrs)  Lhasa (LXA) 21:00 to 8:50 (next day) 13h 50m (approx.)
China Eastern Air Shanghai (PVG) --------  Lhasa (LXA) 6:45 to 14:40 10h (approx.)
Air China Shanghai (PVG) Chengdu (1hr 45mins)  Lhasa (LXA) 7:40 to 15:05 9h 25m (approx.)
Sichuan Airlines Shanghai (PVG) Chengdu (7hrs)  Lhasa (LXA) 19:40 to 8:30 14h 50m (approx.)

Beijing to Lhasa Flight Schedule

AirlineDepartureStopoverArrivalTimings
Tibet Airlines Beijing (PEK) --------  Lhasa (LXA) 6:30 to 12:55
China Southern Beijing (PEK) Chongqing  Lhasa (LXA) 7:40 to 14:00
Air China Beijing (PEK) Chengdu  Lhasa (LXA) 9:00 to 15:00

Kathmandu to Lhasa Flight Schedule

AirlineDepartureArrivalTimingsDays
Sichuan Airlines Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM) Lhasa Gonggar Airport (LXA)  11:30 to 15:10 S, T, T, S
China Southern Beijing (PEK) Chongqing  Lhasa (LXA) 7:40 to 14:00
Community Airlines Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM) Lhasa Gonggar Airport (LXA)  12:10 to 16:00 S, M, T, W, T, F, S

Best City to Take the Flight to Lhasa

Most tourists choose to enter Tibet from mainland China rather than from Nepal for there are more flights to choose. Among all the cities which offers flights to Lhasa, Beijing and Shanghai are absolutely the most popular cities to start a Tibet tour, for there are many international flights connecting these cities with the whole world and also daily direct flights to Lhasa.

Beside, Chengdu is also an ideal city to start your Tibet tour, for there are the most frequent daily flights to Lhasa every day and the travel item is only 2 hours 15 minutes. Also, Chengdu is the famous for the lovely giant panda and delicious Sichuan cuisine. So it is recommended for spend a few days in Chengdu to visit the Giant Panda base and enjoy the leisure pace before your Tibet tour.

Guide about Lhasa Airport

Lhasa Gonggar Airport is the only airport in Lhasa. It lies in the south of Yarlong Tsangpo river bank at an altitude of 3,600m, making it one of the highest airports in the world. It is located south of Lhasa city and is 60km from the downtown area. Here are some facts about this airport.

 Lhasa Gonggar Airport Lhasa Gonggar Airport

Lhasa airport operates more than 40 routes every week, with one international route from Kathmandu to Lhasa. The total area of the airport is 25,000 sq. m. and the runway is 4,000m long. This airport was founded in the year 1965, and has some steady extensions and improvement in facilities over the years. Lhasa Gonggar Airport is one of the five airports in Tibet. Other airports are: Nyingchi Mainling Airport (2,949m), Chamdo Bangda Airport (4,334m), Shigatse Peach Airport (3,782m), and Ngari Gunsa Airport (4,274m).

Travel Tips for Taking a Flight to Lhasa

• Arrive at the airport at least an hour in advance. If you miss the shuttle bus or if there is no place in the room, you can take a taxi to the airport, it costs about CNY 150.
• During winter season the flights often get cancelled due to unstable weather, be weary of it.
• The ticket rates are considerable cheaper during winter season and they are easy to get. But the frequency flights also reduce during winter.
• If you are planning to travel to Tibet during peak seasons (summer and spring), make sure you book your flight tickets at least a month or two in advance. You can book tickets only after you obtain your Tibet travel permit.
• The cost of the Tibet flight tickets are usually high during peak seasons and you can get tickets by either booking in advance, using fare comparing sites to choose the best site to book, untimely flights cost lower.
• Even if you are travelling during summer and spring, take some winter clothes as nights are very cold.
• Since you ascend very fast while travelling by flight you are likely to experience some symptoms of altitude sickness when you land in Lhasa. Symptoms like headache, nausea, and loss of appetite. But you don’t have to panic, they are experienced by almost all the travelers, and once you acclimatize properly for a couple of days in Lhasa, your body will get used to the altitude.
• Eating fruits, dry fruits, avoiding alcohol, and plenty of water help with altitude sickness.

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