Wattay International Airport

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Wattay International Airport

Airport typeMilitary/Public/Civil Aviation Authority
Operator Military of Laos
LocationVientiane, Laos
Hub for Lao Skyway
Lao Airlines
Elevation  AMSL 564 ft / 172 m
Coordinates 17°59′18″N102°33′48″E / 17.98833°N 102.56333°E / 17.98833; 102.56333 Coordinates: 17°59′18″N102°33′48″E / 17.98833°N 102.56333°E / 17.98833; 102.56333
Laos adm location map.svg
Airplane silhouette.svg
Location of airport in Laos
Direction LengthSurface
13/319,8433,000 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. A larger domestic terminal was constructed in 2018 and connected to the international terminal. There is a Lao Air Force installation at one end of the airport.

An IATA airport code, also known as an IATA location identifier, IATA station code or simply a location identifier, is a three-letter geocode designating many airports and metropolitan areas around the world, defined by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). The characters prominently displayed on baggage tags attached at airport check-in desks are an example of a way these codes are used.

ICAO airport code four-letter code designating many airports around the world

The ICAOairport code or location indicator is a four-letter code designating aerodromes around the world. These codes, as defined by the International Civil Aviation Organization and published in ICAO Document 7910: Location Indicators, are used by air traffic control and airline operations such as flight planning.

Vientiane Capital and largest city of Laos

Vientiane is the capital and largest city of Laos, on the banks of the Mekong River near the border with Thailand. Vientiane became the capital in 1563 due to fears of a Burmese invasion but was later looted then razed to the ground in 1827 by the Siamese (Thai). Vientiane was the administrative capital during French rule and, due to economic growth in recent times, is now the economic center of Laos. The city had a population of 820,000 as at the 2015 Census.


The airport is in Sikhodtabong District in Vientiane. [1]

The head office of the Department of Civil Aviation is on the airport property. [2] The head office of Lao Air is on the airport property. [3] Lao Airlines is revising flying to Yangon. The largest airplane that is flown to Vientiane is the A330. This is flown by Thai Airways. 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.

The Department of Civil Aviation of Lao PDR is the civil aviation authority of Laos. The agency, a division of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, has its headquarters on the property of the Wattay International Airport in Sikhodtabong District, Vientiane.

Lao Airlines State Enterprise is the national airline of Laos, headquartered in Vientiane. It operates domestic as well as international services to countries such as Cambodia, China, Thailand, Vietnam, and Korea. Its main operating base is Wattay International Airport in Vientiane. It is subordinate to the Ministry of Public Works and Transport.

Yangon International Airport airport

Yangon International Airport is the primary and busiest international airport of Myanmar. The airport is located in Mingaladon, 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) north of central Yangon. All ten Myanmar carriers and about 30 international airlines operate at Yangon International Airport. The airport is also colloquially known as Mingaladon Airport due to its location.

Airlines and destinations


AirAsia Kuala Lumpur–International
Air Busan Busan
Bangkok Airways Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi
China Eastern Airlines Kunming, Nanning
China Southern Airlines Guangzhou
Hainan Airlines Seasonal Charter: Haikou, Shenzhen [4]
Jeju Air Seoul−Incheon
Jin Air Seasonal: Seoul-Incheon
Lao Airlines Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi, Beijing, Busan, Changsha, Changzhou, Chengdu, [5] Guangzhou, Hanoi, Houayxay, Fukuoka (begins October 2019), Kunming, Louang Namtha, Luang Prabang, Muan, Oudomxay, Pakse, Phnom Penh, Savannakhet, Sayaboury, Seoul–Incheon, Shanghai–Pudong, Xiangkhoang
Lao Skyway Houayxay, Luang Namtha, Luang Prabang, Oudomxay, Pakse, Phongsali, Xam Seua, Xiangkhoang, Seponh
Sichuan Airlines Kunming [6]
Scoot Singapore [7]
T'way Airlines Seoul–Incheon
Thai AirAsia Bangkok–Don Mueang
Thai Airways Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi
Thai Smile Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi
Vietnam Airlines Hanoi, Phnom Penh


The interior of Wattay Airport in Vientiane. VientianeAirportTerminal2.jpg
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

Access to airport by shuttle bus, taxi, car and tuk-tuk. A taxi rank is located outside the main arrival hall. The shuttle bus stop is located outside the international terminal.

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The 1973 Laotian coup was a final attempt to stave off a communist coalition government of the Kingdom of Laos. Exiled General Thao Ma returned from the Kingdom of Thailand on 20 August 1973 to take over Wattay International Airport outside the capital of Vientiane. Commandeering an AT-28, he led air strikes upon the office and home of his hated rival, General Kouprasith Abhay. While Thao Ma was unsuccessfully bombing Kouprasith, loyal Royalist troops retook the airfield. Shot down upon his return, Thao Ma was hauled from his airplane's wreckage and executed. The coalition agreement was signed 14 September 1973.

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  1. "Contact Lao Central Airines."[ sic ] (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. "Hainan Airlines adds Shenzhen – Laos links from Oct 2017". routesonline. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
  5. 2018, UBM (UK) Ltd. "Lao Airlines adds Vientiane – Chengdu from late-June 2018" . Retrieved 24 July 2018.
  6. 2018, UBM (UK) Ltd. "Sichuan Airlines adds new Laos route from May 2017" . Retrieved 24 July 2018.
  7. "Scoot Starts Sale Of Singapore-Laos Flights" (PDF). cdn.flyscoot.com. Retrieved 10 January 2019.

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