Why Take Flight to Lhasa from Xining

1. Compared with other top cities like Bejing, Guangzhou, Xian and Shanghai, Xining offers an inexpensive air travel with shorter flying duration. The full price of the economy class flight is only about 1850 CNY while the same class flight from Shanghai to Lhasa will cost around 3360 CNY. It also only takes about 2.5 hours to get to Lhasa from Xining. While Shanghai to Lhasa flight costs more than 6 hours.

2. Xining is a perfect backup plan when you fail to obtain a flight ticket from Beijing, Xian, Shanghai and Guangzhou to Lhasa because it is easier to book Xining Lhasa flights as the demands are not very high even during peak seasons. Xining is also a great backup plan for train travel to Tibet. As you know, the soft sleepers on Tibet trains are limited and sell out very quickly. If you are not able to book a train ticket to Lhasa, you can choose to take flight.

3. Xining is well connected to other cities in China, such as Xian, Beijing, Chengdu, Dunhuang, etc. You can definitely travel from these cities to Xining for a short break, then take a flight to Tibet from Xining.

4. Xining itself is an amazing tourist destination which is full of unique experience. The picturesque Qinghai Lake is only about 2.5 hours’ driving from Xining City. From Xining, you can also travel to the charming Amdo Tibetan Region.

Xining Lhasa Flights
Beautiful Xining (Qinghai Lake and Xining City)

Xining Lhasa Flights Schedules, Airlines and Fares

26 October 2023 Last updated at 10:54

There are many flights you can take to transfer between Lhasa and Xining every day, including about 10 direct flights and several other connecting flights. The direct flights usually fly directly between Xining Caojiabao Airport and Lhasa Gonggar Airport, and only need about 2.5 hours. While the connecting flights usually need 6~9 hours. Please note that the flight schedules may be cut down in winter and spring.

Xining to Lhasa Flights Timetable

There are now about 10 direct flights and 2 or more connecting flights to Lhasa from Xining each day. The connecting flights usually make stopovers at Xian, Chengdu, Mianyang. Check out following latest updated Xining to Lhasa flights schedules:


Important Notice: 1) Above flight schedules and fares are only for reference, please contact us to catch up on 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.

Where to Take Flight to Tibet – Xining Caojiabao Airport

Xining Caojiabao Airport (ICAO:ZLXN;IATA:XNN - 西宁曹家堡机场) is located in Gaozhai Township, Huzhu County, Qinghai Province, at the elevation of 2,184 meters. It is about 28km away from Xining City. It is one of the most important flight hubs in northwestern China. So far, Xining Caojiabao Airport has operated over 52 air lines to more than 39 major cities in China, including Beijing, Chengdu, Xian, Lhasa, etc. Currently there is no any international flight connected with Xining.

  • 1) Beijing to Xining flights: 7+ flights per day, 2h 45m duration;
  • 2) Chengdu to Xining flights: 4+ flights per day, 1h 50m duration;
  • 3) Shanghai to Xining flights: 1 flight per day, 3h 25m duration;
  • 4) Xian to Xining flights: 16+ flights per day, 1h 35m duration;
  • 5) Zhengzhou to Xining flights: 4+ flights per day, 2h 10m duration;

Transfer to/off Xining Caojiabao Airport

Taxi and shuttle bus are two only transfer ways between Xining Caojiabao Airport and Xining downtown areas. There are two bus routes: airport to Bayi Rd Bus Station(Xining Railway Staion is along the route), airport to Qinghai Hotel. It costs only about 25 CNY. The shuttle bus takes about 40 minutes to get to the city center. The taxi usually costs around 100 CNY, and about 20 minutes to the downtown.

Xining Lhasa Flights
Xining Caojiabao Airport Location

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 Prefecture. 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 land in the airport.

International Flights to Lhasa

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.

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, Chengdu is the most popular hub for taking flights/off Tibet. There are more than 20 flights flying between Chengdu and Lhasa each day. Xian also operates about 4~6 flights to Lhasa each day.

Transfer to/off Lhasa Gonggar International Airport

Lhasa Gonggar Airport is about 60km from Lhasa downtown. It costs about 100~200 CNY to the Barkhor Street area of Lhasa city. Airport shuttle bus is also available, and costs only about 25 CNY. It usually takes about 1~1.5 hours to transfer between the airport and Lhasa downtown.

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 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.

Xining Lhasa Flights
Lhasa Gonggar International Airport

Take Flights to Tibet from other City in Qinghai Province

Apart from Xining, you can also take flights to Tibet from Yushu Airport in Gyegu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture.

Yushu to Lhasa Flights

There are 3 to 6 flights from Yushu of Qinghai to Lhasa Tibet per day. The only 1 non-stop flight executed by China Eastern Airlines flies on every Mon, Wed, Fri and Sun. Located in Southwest Qinghai Province, Yushu has direct flights to Lhasa, Chengdu, Beijing, Xian and Xining. It’s a good choice of connecting your Qinghai tour and Lhasa Tibet tour in Yushu. You can experience the Tibetan culture and enjoy the different scenery in Yushu. Learn more about Yushu Lhasa Flights Details >>

Xining Lhasa FlightsYushu Batang Airport

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 from the airport or ticket agent. When you check in and check out the airports, the original Tibet Travel Permit also will be checked. (Note: if you take flight to Lhasa from Kathmandu, you only have to have the scanned copy of Tibet Travel Permit.) 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 detail about Tibet Travel Permit Application

Xining Lhasa Flights
Tibet Travel Permit

Train to Tibet from Xining – Qinghai Tibet Railway Experience

Xining is the neighbor city to Tibet as well as known as the starting point of the world’s highest railway – Qinghai Tibet Railway. It is the most important transfer hub for train travel to Tibet because there are many transfers from other cities, such as Beijing, Chengdu, Shanghai, Chongqing and Guangzhou, usually get to Xining first for a short visit and acclimation, then board a train to Tibet. The length of Xining Lhasa Railway (Qinghai Tibet Railway) is 1972km (1233 miles). It takes only about 21 hours to take a train to Lhasa from Xining. Currently Xining Railway Station has 5 trains to Lhasa, including one exclusive train Z917 which only runs from Xining to Lhasa, and 4 trains from other cities, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, etc.

>> 6 Days Discover Tibet Train Tour from Xining

Xining Lhasa Flights
Train Travel to Tibet from Xining

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 is required to board the plane.

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. Apart from Xining, where can I also take a flight to Tibet?

Apart from Xining, you can also fly to Tibet from Beijing, Chengdu, Xian, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chongqing, Kunming, Shangri-la, etc.

5. International flights to Lhasa

So far, Kathmandu is the only international city which operates flights to Lhasa. It is only about 375 miles (1.5 hours)’s flying from Kathmandu to Lhasa. During months from May to October, there are usually one or two daily direct flights operated. In the low seasons, there might be less or no daily flights between Kathmandu and Lhasa. 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 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 Chengdu and Chongqing 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 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.

- 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.

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 Free 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.