Overview of Ngari Gunsa Airport

Served as a military and civil airport, Ngari Gunsa Airport is the fourth civil airport in Tibet after Lhasa Gonggar Airport, Qamdo Bangda Airport and Nyingchi Mainling Airport. With an elevation of 4,274 meters, Ngari Gunsa Airport is the fourth highest airport in the world. It has a 4,500 meters long runway and a 3,900-square-meter terminal. The construction of Ngari Gunsa Airport began in May 2007 and the operation began in 2010. Its annual throughput capacity is expected to reach 120,000 passengers by 2020.

Significance of Ngari Gunsa Airport

With the construction of Ngari Gunsa Airport, Mt. Kailash and Lake Manasarovar are accessible by air. Ngari owns numerous featured natural scenery and cultural sites, but nothing is more influential than Mount Kailash and Lake Manasarovar. Mount Kailash is regarded as home to Demchok and resident of God Siva while Lake Manasarovar is one of the three sacred lakes and honored as the Mother of Sacred Lake. Apart from the Buddhist status, Mt. Kailash and Lake Manasarovar also shows stunning scenery.

After Ngari Airport was finished, the economy and tourism of Ngari developed fast. Ngari is a remote area lying about 4,500 meters above the sea level in northwest Tibet and about 1,600km west of Lhasa. It was really hard to develop the lives of local people because of the special environment and inconvenient transportation. However, a lot of resources have been brought into Ngari as Ngari Gunsa Airport started operation.

★ Recommended Ngari Tours:

☞ 13 Days Mt. Kailash & Lake Manasarovar Trekking Private Tour

☞ 15 Days Tibet Everest Plus Mt. Kailash Pilgrimage Group Tour

Mount Kailash
Holy Peak - Mount Kailash
Lake Manasarovar
Scred Lake - Lake Manasarovar

Domestic Flights to/off Ngari Gunsa Airport

Currently, Ngari Airport is only connected with Lhasa, Urumqi, Kashgar and Xian by stopover or direct flights. If you want to travel to Ngari from other cities in China, it is very convenient to take a flight to Lhasa from Beijing, Chengdu, Xian, Shanghai, Kunming etc. first and then transfer to Ngari.

Lhasa Ngari Flight

There are 1-2 nonstop flights between Lhasa Gonggar International Airport and Ngari Gunsa Airport. But they are not operated daily (usually 3-4 days a week). The flights take about 2 hours. Check the following chart to learn the detailed information.

Lhasa to Ngari Flights

Flight No. Departure -- Arrival Duration Plane Ticket
Gonggar Airport

Gunsa Airport
2h Airbus A319
2640 ¥
Economy Class

Ngari to Lhasa Flights

Flight No. Departure -- Arrival Duration Plane Ticket
Gunsa Airport

Gonggar Airport
2h 5m Airbus A319
2640 ¥
Economy Class

Check Full Schedule and Fares of Lhasa Ngari Flights >>

Urumqi Kashgar Ngari Flights

There is one flight between Urumqi and Ngari via Kashgari. It is usually on Friday and takes about 4.5h in total.

Urumqi to Ngari Flights

Flight No. Departure -- Arrival Duration Plane Ticket
Diwopu Airport (T1)
Gunsa Airport
4.5h Boeing 737
2590 ¥
Economy Class

Ngari to Urumqi Flights

Flight No. Departure -- Arrival Duration Plane Ticket
Gunsa Airport
Diwopu Airport (T1)
4.5h Being 737
2590 ¥
Economy Class

Check Full Schedule and Fares of Urumqi Kashgar Ngari Flights >>

Important Notice: 1) Above flight schedules and fares are only for reference, please contact us to catch up with the latest information. But we usually will keep them updated; 2) The airlines companies usually will cut down the flight schedules during winter and spring seasons. There may be no daily flight in some months.

Transfer to/off Ngari Gunsa Airport

Ngari Gunsa Airport is 200km (about 4.5 hours driving) away from Darchen – the starting point of pilgrimage around Mount Kailash. Since the transportation of Ngari is still under construction, there are no trains or shuttle bus at present. Renting a car is always the most popular means for Chinese independent travelers. For foreign friends, you have to travel with a local agency and use a local car.

Tibet Discovery also 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 will enjoy our free airport pick-up and drop-off services.

Necessary Permit for Flights to Ngari

There are three permits are neceessary to take a flight to Ngari, including Tibet Travel Permit, Military Permit and Board Pass. If you take a flight from Urumqi or Kashgar, the original permits will be checked before you board the airplane. If you take a flight from Lhasa, origninal Military and Board Pass will be checked before you board.

Tibet Travel Permit and Flight Travel

A Tibet Travel Permit (Tibet Entry Permit) is the MUST-DOCUMENT to take a flight to Tibet. It is firstly needed to book flight at the airport. When you check in and check out the airports, the original Tibet Travel Permit also will be checked. Please remember to duplicate at least 3 copies of Tibet Travel Permit because the permits are required for many occasions. 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 days to obtain the permit.

How to Apply for Tibet Travel Permit

1. Contact us to work out and confirm an itinerary in Tibet;

2. Send us the scanned copies of your passport, and provide an available address in China(hotel or local agency) to receive your permit;

3. We apply for the Tibet Travel Permit from Tibet Tourism Bureau in Lhasa;

4. Once the permit is issued, we will send the scanning copy of permit by Email.

>> Learn more detail about Tibet Travel Permit Application

Tibet Border Pass

When you travel to Ngari, either by flight or by road, you need to have Border Pass (also called Frontier Pass) in hands. 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. TibetDiscovery could 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 obtain this pass for you and send the scanning copy to you.

>> Learn more detail about Tibet Border Pass

Military Permit

Visiting Ngari (Mt. Kailash, Lake Manasarovar, Guge kingdom Site and so on), only the Tibet Travel Permit and Tibet Border Pass are not enough, and Military Permit is also a must. Military Permit is issued by the Military office in Lhasa, and can only be obtained by travel agency as well. Because of the long procedure to get this permit, you should provide your scanning copy of valid passport and visa to us at least 20 days before you leaving for Ngari.

>> Learn more detail about Military Permit

Tibet Travel Permit
Tibet Travel Permit
Border Pass
Tibet Board Pass
Military Permit
Military Permit

Useful Notes on Tibet Flight Travel

1. Necessary documents required to take a flight to/off Tibet

- Chinese visa is always needed no matter you are taking a flight or a train to Tibet. The office man in the airport will check your Chinese visa when your go to board the plane.

- The passport will be needed for many situations: booking flight ticket, checking in flight, checking in hotel, checking in the Border Station in Tibet, etc. Make sure your passport is valid and original.

- Original Tibet Travel Permit will be checked when you board your plane at the airports.

2. 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 usually gets 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.

3. 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 possible 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 Xian 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.

4. What are the most popular gateway cities to fly to Tibet?

Currently Chengdu, Beijing, Xian, Shanghai, Chongqing, Kunming, Shangri-La are mostly used by travelers as gateway hubs to fly to Tibet.

5. International flights to Tibet

So far, there is only one international air line connecting Lhasa: Kathmandu – Lhasa. During summer days, there are daily direct flights operated, sometimes two flights and sometimes just one flight. Only Air China and Sichuan Airlines are operating the Kathmandu - Lhasa flights. To take a flight from Kathmandu to Lhasa, one will need a Group Visa, Tibet Travel Permit and Tibet Border Permit.

6. What else airport I can fly to except for Ngari Gunsa Airport?

Tibet has five airports in total. Besides Ngari Airport, you can also take a flight to Lhasa, Shigatse, Nyingchi, and Qamdo. But only certain cities in China operate flights to these smaller cities except for Lhasa.

- Lhasa - there are over 20 daily nonstop flights connecting Lhasa with other cities, including Chengdu, Chongqing, Beijing, Guangzhou, Xian, Xiahe, Yushu etc.

- 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.

7. 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)

8. Will my kids get a discounted flight ticket?

Kids aging between 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 Chengdu with a child aging at 10 and the full price for the economy class is 1680 CNY, the ticket fare for the child is 840 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.

9. 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 it into a paper ticket when you check in your flight at a counter in the airport.