Why Take Flight to Lhasa from Kathmandu
1. Nepal and Tibet share some common, especially in the beautiful Himalayan scenery and pious belief of Buddhism. A Nepal Tibet tour offers you good channel to acquaint with the two wonderful lands both.
2. Nepal is the only foreign country directly connected with Tibet, China by flight, although there are over 20 cities in China operating flights to Tibet.
3. Flying from Kathmandu to Lhasa is most time-saving and cost-effective. Since Nepal borders Tibet in the north with the natural boundary - the Himalayan Range, the air travel from Kathmandu to Tibet is only 1.5 hours short, while it needs about 2.5 hours from Chengdu, 3 hours form Chongqing, 3 hours from Xian, 4.5 hours from Beijing etc.
4. With a long history of over 1,200 years, Kathmandu is an amazing destination retained many brilliant cultural and artistic heritages. Unique atmosphere can be found everything, in religous temples overflowing with marigolds and courtyards, on local’s faces, from the distinctive architectures and customs, etc.
Durbar Square in Kathmandu
Aerial View of the Himalayas
Kathmandu Lhasa Flights Schedules
There are both non-stop flights and connecting flights flying from Kathmandu to Lhasa. Direct flights are scheduled weekly, taking merely 1.5 hours, while the daily connecting flights via additional transfer cost 20 hours, even longer than one day.
Non-stop Flight: By now, Sichuan Airline offers the only direct flight between Kathmandu and Lhasa every other day (on each Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday).
Connecting Flight: Air China and Eastern Airlines have daily connected flights between Kathmandu and Lhasa. The former has transfer in Chengdu, while the latter has multiple layover in Kunming and Lijiang. In Summer peak season, Southern Airlines also operate connected flights irregularly and air travel is as long as almost a full day.
Check the following Kathmandu Lhasa flight schedules to choose from a suitable one.
Important Notice: 1) The departure time and arrival time are on local time and the time difference between Nepal and China is 2 hours and 15 minutes; 2) Above flights schedules are only for reference, and please contact us to catch up on the latest information; 3) If you travel from Nepal to Tibet with group less than 5 members, you’re recommended to ly to Chengdu from Kathmandu firstf and then go to Tibet from Chengdu, because the must-have Group Visa for Nepal Tibet Tour accept application of groups of at least 5 tourists only.
Top Recommended Lhasa Kathmandu Tours (by flight):
About Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport
Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport (IATA: KTM, ICAO: VNKT) is the biggest airport and only international airport serving Nepal. As As an important portal for international travelers, the airport mainly links Nepal with some countries in Asia and world other places. It is a vital air hub for several Nepalese airlines as well.
Kathmandu Airport is not very big, but here you can feel classical Nepalese style from the architectures and staff costume. Inside the airport, you can find airport shuttle bus to downtown hotels, shops, restaurants, currency exchange and other necessary facilities and service. It has one domestic terminal and one international terminal. You need to go to international terminal to board the airplane to Lhasa.
International Flights to Kathmandu
So far, travelers can take directflights to Kathmandu from following destinations:
1) Europe (Istanbul)
2) Middle East (Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah,Doha)
3) East Asia (Hong Kong, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Kunming, Lhasa in China, Seoul, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Bangkok, Saipan, Yangon, Siem Reap, Manila)
4) South Asia (Paro, Dhaka, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi, Pollak)
5) Southeast Asia (Muscat, Colombo)
6) Other regions: If you want to travel to Kathmandu from other cities, you could make a transfer at Hong Kong, Doha, Delhi, Mumbai, Istanbul or Dubai.
Domestic Flights to Kathmandu
When in Nepal, travelers can take nonstop flights to Kathmandu from following destinations: Bhadrapur, Bhairawa, Biratnagar, Dhangarhi, Janakpur, Nepalganj, Pokhara, Simara and Tumling Tar etc.
Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport Location & Transportation:
Kathmandu Tribhuvan Airport is located about 6km east of city center of Kathmandu. Thus, it’s quite convenient to transfer to downtown, for accommodation and sightseeing.
There are three shuttle bus routes connecting Kathmandu Tribhuvan Airport with the city center, and one line goes to the Thamel. The shuttle buses operate from 5:00 am to 10:00 pm each day. In the domestic and international terminal, you can also find taxi, which is more recommended if you travel with big luggage or suitcase. It takes about half an hour from the airport to Thamel. Remember to bargain before taking a cab, and night fare is higher than daytime.
Transfer from Airport to Major Attractions (by driving):
→ Kathmandu Durbar Square: about 20 mins/8km
→ Boudhanath Stupa: about 15mins/5km
→ Swayambhunath Stupa（Monkey Temple): about 30 mins/13km
→ Pashupatinath Temple: about 20mins/7km
Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport
International Terminal of Kathmandu Airport
About Lhasa Gonggar International Airport
Lhasa Gonggar International Airport (LXA - 拉萨贡嘎国际机场) is the largest and most important airport in Tibet Autonomous Region. In 2016, the airport has greeted more than 3 million passengers, most of whom are travelers, including thousands of foreigner travelers. The airport is about 62 kilometers (39 mi) southwest of the city in Gonggar County of Shannan and the airport is one of the highest airports in the world with an elevation of 3,570 meters (11,710 ft). Airbus A340 and Boeing 757 aircrafts are allowed to park in the airport.
● International Flights to Lhasa
So far, there is only one international air line connecting Lhasa: Kathmandu - Lhasa. There are daily connecting flights and weekly non-stop flights scheduled. Sichuan Airlines offers the only direct flights from Kathmandu to Lhasa every other day within 1.5 hours. To take the flight to Lhasa from Kathmandu, Nepal, you need to apply and obtain a Group Visa, Tibet Travel Permit and Border Pass. More permits are required if you plan to visit further destinations beyond Lhasa, such as Mount Everest, Mount Kailash, Nyingchi, etc.
● Domestic Flights to Lhasa
Lhasa Gonggar Airport is well connected to many cities in China, including Beijing, Chengdu, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Xian, Kunming, Chongqing, Xining, Shangri-La, etc. Among all these cities, Chongqing and Chengdu are two of the most popular hubs for taking flights to/off Tibet. There are more than 15 flights flying between Chongqing, Chengdu and Lhasa each day. Xian also operates about 4~6 flights to Lhasa each day.
Lhasa Gonggar International Airport Location & Transportation:
Lhasa Gonggar International Airport, located in Shannan, is about 60km from Lhasa downtown. There are airport shuttle bus available (from near the Potala Palace to airport) during 06:30 -19:00, for about 1 hour’s ride. If you take a taxi, it needs about 1 hour to get to Barkhor Street area of central Lhasa city.
Tibet Discovery, a experienced and professional travel agency, provides you convenient and comfortable airport pick-up and drop-off services which are usually included in our Tibet tour packages. If you take our group tours, you can enjoy our free airport pick-up and drop-off services which are offered at contain hours:
Free Airport Transfer to Hotel in Lhasa
- - Around 10:00 pick up travelers who arrive at Lhasa Gonggar Airport before 09:30 AM;
- - Around 14:00 pick up travelers who arrive at Lhasa Gonggar Airport before 13:30 PM;
- - Around 17:00 pick up travelers who arrive at Lhasa Gonggar Airport before 16:30 PM.
Free Transfer to Airport from Hotel in Lhasa
- - Around 07:00 pick up travelers who departs from Lhasa Gonggar Airport between 09:00 ~ 11:30 AM;
- - Around 09:30 pick up travelers who departs from Lhasa Gonggar Airport between 11:30 AM ~ 14:30 PM;
- - Around 12:30 pick up travelers who departs from Lhasa Gonggar Airport after 14:30 PM.
>> Learn more about Lhasa Gonggar International Airport.
Lhasa Gonggar International Airport
Plan B for Kathmandu Lhasa Flights - Optional Transportation for Nepal Tibet Tour
Option 1 - Travel from Kathmandu to Tibet by Road
The special experience and variation of landscape along the road make an overland travel from Kathmandu to Lhasa very popular and eye-pleasing. The international overland trip mainly takes place on the famous Sino-Nepal Highway, also called Friendship Highway, a national highway connecting Tibet and Nepal, stretching over 900km via Lhasa, Gantse, Shigatse. Attractive sightseeing wonders are scattered along the highway.
The east route used to realize road communication between Nepal and Tibet via Zhangmu Port, but border port has long been closed due to the severe damage caused by Nepal earthquake in 2015. The good news is the reopening of Gyirong Port letting the overland travel doable again. Travelers can enter Tibet by road and tour Mount Everest, Mount Kailash, Shigatse and Lhasa in geographic order and leave for other city from Lhasa.
Popular Kathmandu Lhasa Overland Tours:
Stunning View of Sino-Nepal Friendship Highway
Option 2 - Make a transfer in other cities of China
Nepal is a very popular gateway country to Tibet, but the flights between Kathmandu and Lhasa are not frequent. And the Group Visa requires at least 5 tourists traveling together from Nepal to Tibet. If you fail to book a nonstop Kathmandu-Lhasa flight or travel with insufficient number of companions, there are many other available choices you can consider. Alternatively, you can take a flight from Kathmandu to other destinations in China, like Chengdu, Chongqing, Kunming and Guangzhou. The four cities all have daily flights to Lhasa within a couple of hours.
Among all, Tibet Discovery highly recommend Chengdu and Chongqing, because there are much more flights every day, and you can have an interesting panda tour or relaxing Yangtze River Cruise experience respectively.
Check the detailed information of direct flights between Kathmandu and other cities in China.
Kathmandu to Other Destinations in China
|Route||Departure -- Arrival||Duration||Frequency||Chengdu to Lhasa Flight|
|Kathmandu-Chengdu||Kathmandu Tribhuvan Airport - Chengdu Shuangliu Airport||about 3 hours||daily||over 20 non-stop flights per day/ about 2.5 hours|
|Kathmandu-Chongqing||Kathmandu Tribhuvan Airport - Chongqing Jiangbei Airport||about 4 hours||weekly||over 20 non-stop flights per day/ about 3 hours|
|Kathmandu-Guangzhou||Kathmandu Tribhuvan Airport - Guangzhou Baiyun Airport||about 4.5 hours||daily||over 10 connecting flights per day/ over 1 day|
|Kathmandu-Kunming||Kathmandu Tribhuvan Airport - Kunming Changshui Airport||about 3.5 hours||daily|
Important Notice: 1) The departure time and arrival time are on local time and the time difference between Nepal and China is 2 hours and 15 minutes; 2) above flights schedules are only for reference, and please contact us to catch up on the latest information.
Visa and Permits for Nepal Tibet Flight Travel
1. Tibet Travel Permit
A Tibet Travel Permit (Tibet Entry Permit) is the MUST-DOCUMENT to take a flight to Tibet. When you check in and check out the airports, copy of Tibet Travel Permit will be checked. The permit can only be issued in Tibet by the Tibet Tourism Bureau, and also can be only applied by travel agency behalf of travelers. It needs about 15~20 working days to obtain the permit. As we obtain the original Tibet Travel Permit, we will send you the scanning copy of the permit. You need to duplicate at least 3 copies of Tibet Travel Permit because the copies of permits are required for many occasions. As you arrive at Lhasa Gonggar Airport, our local guide will pick you with your original Tibet Travel Permit. Learn more details How to Apply for Tibet Travel Permit >>
2. Tibet Group Visa
All tourists who travel to Tibet from Nepal are required to apply for the Tibet Group Visa at the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu. It will be checked while you are checking in and checking out at the airports. As a special single-entry Chinese Visa, it is also valid to extend your trip to other destinations of China after your Tibet Tour. The Group Visa cannot be applied by travelers in person and you need a travel agency to obtain it on behalf of you. Tibet Discovery offers the visa service for our customers. As you get to Kathmandu, our local driver and travel guide will meet you and help you with your Tibet Group Visa application. More about Tibet Group Visa >>
3. Tibet Border Pass
When you travel from Kathmandu to Tibet, either by flight or by road, you need to cross the board between China and Nepal. Border Pass, or Frontier Pass, is another must document needed. It is issued by Armed Police Tibet Frontier Crops in Lhasa. Just as Tibet Travel Permit, the scanning copy of Tibet Board Pass will be checked before you board the airplane or leave the airport. Tibet Discovery can help you to apply Border Pass as well. Send us your copy of passport, tour itinerary, copy of your China Visa and copy of Tibet Travel Permit 20 days before your Tibet Tour, we can apply it for you and make sure you travel as planed. Learn more about Tibet Border Pass >>
Tibet Travel Permit
Useful Notes on Tibet Flight Travel
1. How to book flight ticket?
The flight ticket can be booked at online websites, such as Booking.com, Expedia, Ctrip, Qunar, etc. You can also buy the ticket from the airports in China or flight resellers. You are also welcomed to let us book your flight. We are always keeping up with the latest flight news and usually can book the ticket at a cheaper price. During summer and autumn, it is usually difficult to book the flights to Lhasa. While using our booking service, we will not only book the ticket, but also arrange a valuable tour package.
2. When is the best time to fly to Tibet?
Generally speaking, months from April to October are recommended for traveling in Tibet. Other months are usually very cold, and possibly have heavy snow, especially in regions like Mount Everest, Mount Kailash, Namtso Lake, etc. The flights schedules are also more frequent during April to October. During December to March, the airline companies will cut down the flight schedules, usually from daily weekly, even to none. But top cities like Chengdu and Beijing still operate daily flights during the shoulder season. It is recommended to take the morning flight so that you can get to Lhasa before late afternoon, and have enough time to acclimatize yourself to the altitude and thin air in Lhasa. The morning flights also cut down the risk that your flights would be delayed or canceled.
3. Apart from Kathmandu, where can I also take a flight to Tibet?
Apart from Kathmandu, you can only fly to Tibet from Chinese cities, like Beijing, Chengdu, Xian, Shanghai, Kunming, Shanggri-la, etc.
4. What else airport I can fly to except for Lhasa Gonggar International Airport?
Tibet has five airports in total. Besides Lhasa Gonggar Airport, you can also take a flight to Shigatse, Nyingchi, Ngari and Qamdo. But only certain cities in China operate flights to these smaller cities.
- Shigatse - there is daily flight flying between Chengdu and Shigatse each day. The airport name is Shigatse Peace Airport, which is about 46km from Shigatse city.
- Nyingchi - Chengdu usually offers 4 morning flights to Nyingchi Milin Airport. While its neighboring city Chongqing also has 3 morning flights to Nyingchi each day. If you travel from Nyingchi to Lhasa, you are recommended to take a flight to Nyingchi firstly from Chengdu or Chongqing. It is also available to fly out Tibet directly from Nyingchi.
- Qamdo - Both Chongqing and Chengdu operate a daily flight to Qamdo in Tibet. But there are few travelers have chosen this line because Qamdo is not a popular tourist destination in Tibet.
- Ngari - Urumqi (capital of Xinjiang) offers a daily direct flight to Ngari with a stop at Kashgar on every Tuesday and Friday. Taking this flight, passengers need Military Permit and Border Pass as well as Tibet Travel Permit.
5. The regulation on the luggage allowance on the plane
|Luggage Type||First Class||Business Class||Economy Class||Allowed Baggage Size|
|Allowed Carry-on Baggage||5kg * 2 pieces||5kg||5kg||55cm/20cm/40cm(L/B/H)|
|Allowed Checked-in Baggage||40kg||30kg||20kg||100cm/60cm/40cm(L/B/H)|
6. Will my kids get a discounted flight ticket?
Kids aging 2 to 12 years old (including 12) will get a discount of 50% of the full price of the flight fare. If an adult take a flight to Lhasa from Kathmandu with a child aging at 10 and if the full price for the economy class is 2562 CNY, the ticket fare for the child is 1281 CNY. The child also doesn’t have to pay for Airport Construction Fee while the adult has to. Infant under 2 years old only has to pay 10% of the full price, but the separate seat is not provided.
7. How do I collect (receive) the flight ticket?
Since most flight tickets are booked online, so firstly you will receive an e-ticket. You will change a paper ticket when you checking in your flight at a counter in the airport.