About Qamdo Bangda Airport

Geographical Information

Qamdo Bangda Airport, also called Qamdo Bamda Airport, is a plateau airport located in Bangda Prairie, Hengduan Mountains. The airport is 4,334m (14,219 ft) above sea level, which makes it the second highest airport in the world after the 4,411m high Daocheng Yading Airport in Sichuan Province. Climate environment of the Qamdo Bangda Airport is quite hostile. Wind speeds up to 30m per second in winter. Besides, the temperature often drops down to 20 degrees centigrade below zero in winter and spring, which is difficult for flight operation. Due to its high elevation, the airport oxygen level is only 50% of that of sea level.

Airport Facilities

The Qamdo Bangda Airport started its construction on December 2, 1992. The Air Force only spent 83 days on fixing the 5,500m long and 45 m wide airport runway – the longest one in the world. In 2007, the airport did a reconstruction and expansion with repairing the runway, building a new terminal of 5,018 square meters. During June 22 to July 15, 2013, the airport was shut down for a further maintenance of the old runway. A second runway is under construction from 2015.

Qamdo Bangda Airport
The Qamdo Airport Tablet

Domestic Flights to Qamdo

Until now, Qamdo Bangda Airport only has opened 5 flights routes to several cities in China. Because Qamdo has less frequent schedules, air tickets to Qamdo or off Qamdo is difficult to get during peak tourist time. Popular top cities like Chengdu, Chongqing, Lhasa usually have 1 daily direct flight to Qamdo, irregular flight departing from Tianjin and Anhui Fuyang (安徽阜阳) are offered sometimes. Among all of these, Chengdu and Chongqing are the most popular hubs to Qamdo Tibet within 2h and have more frequent domestic and international routes for your consideration. The ticket price of going to Qamdo is much higher than to other airports in Tibet with barely discount all the time, due to few flights schedules, tough flying conditions and huge costs on the relevant facilities.

Qamdo Bangda Airport
Qamdo Flights Routes in China

Lhasa Qamdo Flights

Lhasa is located in the center of Tibet, about 1,100km to the northeast Qamdo area. Dirving to Qamdo from Lhasa costs nearly 3 days in both 2 routes. One is going north through the National Highwat G317 and G109, passing Nagqu along the way. The south line is walking through National Highway G214 and G318 with more beautiful scenery in Nyingchi to enjoy.

A direct flight between Qamdo and Lhasa is operating every day. Tourist can tour the Qamdo area from Lhasa within 1.5h flying. It’s more time saving and convenient than driving. Still if you are planning a Lhasa travel from Qamdo, you can go to holy city Lhasa by plane. Since Lhasa Gonggar Airport is the largest and important airport in Tibet, it links Lhasa with many domestic inland cities, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Xian, Chengdu, and the attractive international destination, Kathmandu in Nepal. You have more choice to spread your China tour or Nepal travel.

Qamdo Bangda Airport
Lhasa - Qamdo Flight Route

Qamdo to Lhasa Flight

Flight No. Departure -- Arrival Duration Frequency Plane Full Price
09:35
Qamdo Bangda Airport
11:00
Lhasa Gonggar Airport
1h 25m SMTWTFS Airbus A319
1510 ¥
Economy Class

Lhasa to Qamdo Flight

Flight No. Departure -- Arrival Duration Frequency Plane Full Price
07:30
Lhasa Gonggar Airport
08:45
Qamdo Bangda Airport
1h 15m SMTWTFS Airbus A319
1510 ¥
Economy Class

Chengdu Qamdo Flights

As the most important gateway to Tibet, Chengdu operates more than 30 flights between Chengdu and Lhasa, Nyingchi, Shigatse and Qamdo. Usually, Chengdu opens more frequent routes to Tibet than cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Xian, and it has many routes to international cities, like London, Paris, L.A, Seoul and popular Asia destinations. The Air China provides a round trip flight between Chengdu and Qamdo every day. The direct flight takes less than 1.5h at flying distance of 769km. Both of the 2 flights depart and arrive in the morning.

Qamdo Bangda Airport
Chengdu - Qamdo Flight Route

Chengdu to Qamdo Flight

Flight No. Departure -- Arrival Duration Frequency Plane Full Price
06:45
Chengdu Shuangliu Airport T2
08:05
Qamdo Bangda Airport
1h 20m SMTWTFS Airbus A319
4130 ¥
First Class

Qamdo to Chengdu Flight

Flight No. Departure -- Arrival Duration Frequency Plane Full Price
08:50
Qamdo Bangda Airport
10:10
Chengdu Shuangliu Airport T2
1h 20m SMTWTFS Airbus A319
4130 ¥
First Class

Chongqing Qamdo Flights

The national hub airport in Chongqing – Jiangbei International Airport, operates 258 flights routes to domestic and international destinations. You can transfer in Chongqing to other cities or fly back to home country. Except Chengdu, the gateway city Chongqing also has lots of flights to Tibet. The Tibet Airlines offers 1 non-stop flight flying from Chongqing to Qamdo and the other way around per day.

Qamdo Bangda Airport
Chongqing - Qamdo Flight Route

Flying distance between Chongqing and Qamdo is 922km about 2hrs' duration. Flight from Chongqing to Qamd usually takes 25mins longer than Qamdo – Chongqing flight. Usually, departing from Chongqing needs more 500 CNY than from Chengdu. The roundtrip floghts are both executed in the morning.

Chongqing to Qamdo Flight

Flight No. Departure -- Arrival Duration Frequency Plane Full Price
07:15
Chongqing Jiangbei Airport
09:25
Qamdo Bangda Airport
2h 10m SMTWTFS Airbus A319
1550 ¥
Economy Class

Qamdo to Chongqing Flight

Flight No. Departure -- Arrival Duration Frequency Plane Full Price
10:05
Qamdo Bangda Airport
11:50
Chongqing Jiangbei Airport
1h 45m SMTWTFS Airbus A319
1550 ¥
Economy Class

Other Qamdo Flights Schedules

Qamdao - Tianjin

So far, there is no direct flight from Tianjian or other places to Qamdo, but connecting flights which have to transfer in Chongqing or Chengdu. These connecting flights will arrive in Qamdo next morning costing over 5,000 CNY. The Tibet Airlines provides a daily nonstop flight to Tianjin from Qamdo.

Flight No. Departure -- Arrival Duration Frequency Plane Full Price
10:05
Qamdo Bangda Airport
16:30
Tianjin Binhai Airport T2
6h 25m SMTWTFS Airbus A319
3050 ¥
Economy Class

Qamdo – Anhui Fuyang (安徽阜阳)

The China Express Airlines operates an irregular flight from Qamdo to Anhui Fuyang on every Sun, Mon, Wed and Fri. This extremely obscure route of Qamdo – Fuyang is opened in summer and autumn and will be adjusted in other seasons. Ticket price and aircraft type are not fixed based on departure date and air company arrangement.

Flight No. Departure -- Arrival Duration Frequency Plane Full Price
10:05
Qamdo Bangda Airport
Chongqing
16:00
Fuyang Xiguan Airport
5h 55m SM-W-F- Uncertain
2000-2600 ¥
Economy Class

Transfer to/off Qamdo Bangda Airport

The Qamdo Town is over 1,300 km to Lhasa or Chengdu, about several days to bump down those rugged mountain paths. It is 136km far from the Qamdo Bangda Airport to the nearest Qamdo Town, making the airport the farthest civil airport to city center in China.

Tourists need to take a 3h ride by taxi, costing about 250 - 300 CNY. Also there are airport shuttle buses you can take, pricing at 60CNY around. Coaches between Lhasa and Qamdo, Chengdu and Qamdo are irregular costing around 3 - 6 days in total. Because the less developed transportation, scenic spots in Qamdo are far from each other. Be preparing for some long distance ride when you tour in Qamdo area.

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 original permit to you by post.

> Learn more details about Tibet Travel Permit Application

Military Permit

Visiting all the places you will visit in Qamdo such as Qamdo, Riwoche etc., only the Tibet Travel Permit is 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 Qamdo.

>> Learn more details about Military Permit

Tibet Travel Permit
Tibet Travel Permit
Military Permit
Tibet 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 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 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 Pass.

6. What else airport I can fly to except for Qamdo Bangda Airport?

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

- 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 Mainling 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.

- 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.

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 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 a paper ticket when you checking in your flight at a counter in the airport.