Wattay International Airport

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Wattay International Airport
Airport typeMilitary/Public/Civil Aviation Authority
OperatorMilitary of Laos
ServesVientiane, Laos
Opened1999 (1999)
Hub for
Elevation AMSL564 ft / 172 m
Coordinates17°59′18″N 102°33′48″E / 17.98833°N 102.56333°E / 17.98833; 102.56333
VTE is located in LaosVTEVTELocation of airport in Laos
Direction Length Surface
ft m
13/31 9,843 3,000 Asphalt
Statistics (2012)
Passenger movements?
Airfreight movements in tonnes?
Aircraft movements?

Wattay International Airport (IATA: VTE, ICAO: VLVT) is one of the few international airports in Laos and the country's main international gateway, serving the capital Vientiane, located 3 km (2 mi) outside of the city centre in Sikhodtabong District, Vientiane Prefecture. The airport is operated by the Lao Airport Authority (LAA) and serves as a hub for Lao Skyway, Lao Central Airlines and Lao Airlines. The Lao Air Force also operates an installation at one end of the airport.

The head offices of the Department of Civil Aviation and Lao Air are on the airport property. Lao Airlines is revising flying to Yangon. The largest airplane that has ever visited this airport is the Boeing 747-400, carrying Park Geun-hye – then-president of South Korea – for the 2016 ASEAN summit.


Wattay International Airport began operations in 1999. Using grant money from the Japanese government, the airport renovated its international terminal in 2005. The airport opened in June 2011 a cargo terminal which was constructed from July 2010 to April 2011. The cargo terminal was designed by the Azusa Sekkei Company, and built by the Lao-Japan Airport Terminal Building Service with 9.6 billion of funding from the Bank of Japan.

In July 2011, the Ministry of Public Works and Transport initiated a new expansion project in association with China CAMC Engineering Company. The project saw the expansion of the single asphalt runway by 260 meters to its current 3,000 length; development of parking lots; renovation of its road and drainage system; expansion of two aprons to accommodate larger aircraft; and the construction of new offices for the LAA and Lao Civil Aviation Department. Japan provided ¥1.9 billion in funding to the project through the Japan International Cooperation Agency, making up 2 thirds of the total cost of ₭302 billion. The project began in December 2011 and was completed in November 2012. In February 2012, $3 million was provided by the Bouathip Lao Company to expand the domestic terminal.

In December 2015, the airport launched another expansion project, which took until August 2018 to be completed. The project saw the expansion of the international terminal, the construction of a new domestic terminal, and the improvement of several facilities. The project was again funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency under a January 2014 loan, contributing ¥9 billion.

New airport

A new airport will be built in Xaythany district to subsequently replace the overcrowded Wattay International Airport.

Airlines and destinations

9 Air Haikou
AirAsia Kuala Lumpur–International
Air Busan Busan
China Eastern Airlines Kunming, Nanning
China Southern Airlines Guangzhou
Hainan Airlines Haikou
Hong Kong Airlines Hong Kong
Jeju Air Seoul−Incheon
Seasonal: Muan
Jin Air Seasonal: Seoul–Incheon
Lao Airlines Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi, Changsha, Changzhou, Chengdu–Tianfu, Cheongju, Da Nang, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Kunming, Luang Namtha, Luang Prabang, Oudomxay, Pakse, Phnom Penh, Savannakhet, Seoul–Incheon, Shanghai–Pudong, Wenzhou, Xam Neua, Xiangkhoang
Lao Skyway Bokeo, Luang Namtha, Luang Prabang, Oudomxay, Pakse, Phongsali, Savannakhet, Sayaboury, Xam Neua, Xepon, Xiangkhoang
Lucky Air Xishuangbanna
Myanmar Airways International Yangon
Scoot Singapore
Sichuan Airlines Kunming
Thai AirAsia Bangkok–Don Mueang
Thai Airways International Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi
T'way Air Busan, Seoul–Incheon
Seasonal: Daegu
VietJet Air Ho Chi Minh City
Vietnam Airlines Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Phnom Penh
West Air Changsha


The interior of Wattay Airport in Vientiane

The airport has a bonded warehouse building for air cargo passing through the airport. The facility is operated by Lao-Japan Airport Terminal Building Service Co. Ltd.

Ground transportation

An airport shuttle bus

Access to airport by shuttle bus, taxi, car, tuk-tuk and walking. The shuttle bus stop is located outside the international terminal.


  1. ^ "Contact Lao Central Airines." (Archive) Lao Central Airlines. Retrieved on 21 October 2013. "International Airport, Ban Arkard, Sikhodtabong District, Vientiane Lao PDR"
  2. ^ "Laos" (Archive). Federal Aviation Administration. p. 2/10. "Ministry of Public Works and Transport Department of Civil Aviation Vientiane/Wattay International Airport P.O. Box 119 Vientiane, Lao PDR."
  3. ^ "Contact Us." Lao Air. Retrieved on 19 September 2010. "Lao Air Company Asiane Road, Ban Akat, Wattay Airport"
  4. ^ a b c "Wattay International Airport, Vientiane". Airport Technology. Retrieved 13 August 2023.
  5. ^ Daffey, Mark (19 January 2023). "Airport review: Wattay International Airport, Vientiane, Laos is no Changi - bring a good book". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 13 August 2023.
  6. ^ "AirAsia July/August 2023 Frequency Variations – 09APR23". Aeroroutes. Retrieved 12 April 2023.
  7. ^ "China Eastern NW22 International / Regional Operations – 16OCT22".
  8. ^ "Hainan Airlines Resumes Haikou – Vientiane Service From Dec 2023". Aeroroutes. Retrieved 13 December 2023.
  9. ^ "Hong Kong Airlines Schedules Vientiane Service From late-April 2024". Aeroroutes. Retrieved 25 April 2024.
  10. ^ "Lao Airlines launched the first direct flight from Vientiane, Laos to Danang, Vietnam on March 30th, 2023". Lao Airlines.
  11. ^ "Lao Airlines Adds Regular Phnom Penh Service in mid-1H24". Aeroroutes. Retrieved 9 February 2024.
  12. ^ "Lao Skyway flights to Savannakhet begin flying on 2 April!". Facebook. Retrieved 2 April 2024.
  13. ^ "Live Flight Tracker - Real-Time Flight Tracker Map". Flightradar24.
  14. ^ "新航季新出发 | 夏航季温暖来临 百条航线可选 去浪趁现在". Retrieved 2 June 2024.
  15. ^ "Sichuan Airlines late-March 2023 SE Asia Network Additions". Aeroroutes. Retrieved 23 March 2023.
  16. ^ Liu, Jim. "T'Way Air adds Daegu – Vientiane service in W19". Routesonline. Retrieved 30 December 2019.
  17. ^ "VietJet Air Adds Vientiane Service From late-Feb 2024". Aeroroutes. Retrieved 18 December 2023.
  18. ^ "China West Air Adds New Laos Service in March 2024". Aeroroutes. Retrieved 12 March 2024.

External links

Media related to Wattay International Airport at Wikimedia Commons