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Getting around by air

Tibet is one of China’s biggest provinces, but flights within the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) are few and far between and tickets can be hard to secure. There are airports at Lhasa (Gongkar), Nyingtri (Nyingchi), Chamdo (Bangda), Ali and Shigatse. Apart from Lhasa, these are of limited use to tourists.

Shigatse’s Peace Airport has flights to Chengdu (¥1880) with Tibet Airlines (www.tibetairlines.com.cn) and to Shanghai and Xī’ān with China Eastern (www.ceair.com).

Tibet Airlines also has flights between Lhasa and Ali's Ngari Gunsa Airport, but these are expensive at ¥2690 one way. Lucky Air (www.luckyair.net) currently operates an intriguing twice-weekly Ali to Kashgar flight (¥2040).

A sixth airport is under construction in Nagchu (Dagring). When finished it will be the highest civilian airport in the world. Three more airports are planned at Lhoka (Longzi), Tingri and Purang (in Ngari), with construction due to start in 2019.