Lao Airlines

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About Lao Airlines

Lao Airlines, the national carrier of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, has been an instrumental force in connecting this landlocked nation to the world while fostering economic growth and cultural exchange. This comprehensive article delves into the history, fleet, destinations, services, challenges, and future prospects of Lao Airlines.

The History and Evolution of Lao Airlines

Lao Airlines has a rich history dating back to its establishment in 1976. The airline started with a modest fleet of aircraft and limited domestic routes, primarily serving the transportation needs of the country’s small population. Over the years, it has grown into a key player in the regional aviation industry. In 2000, Lao Airlines underwent a transformation, transitioning from a government department to a state-owned enterprise. This change allowed the airline to operate more efficiently, leading to expansion and an enhanced passenger experience.

Lao Airlines continued its expansion in the 21st century, becoming a member of the Star Alliance in 2013. This partnership provided passengers with improved connectivity, allowing seamless travel to destinations worldwide. Today, Lao Airlines has become a vital link for both domestic and international travel, playing a pivotal role in Laos’ economic development.

Fleet and Network

Lao Airlines operates a modern fleet of aircraft, ensuring the safety and comfort of its passengers. The airline’s fleet primarily consists of Airbus and ATR aircraft. Airbus A320 and ATR 72 planes are renowned for their efficiency and reliability, making them the perfect choice for serving Lao Airlines’ domestic and international routes.

The airline offers an extensive network that connects Laos with major cities in Asia and beyond. Domestically, Lao Airlines serves cities such as Vientiane, Luang Prabang, Pakse, and Savannakhet, facilitating travel within the country. Internationally, the airline provides connectivity to destinations in China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Singapore, and South Korea, among others. This broad network plays a critical role in the economic and cultural exchange between Laos and its neighboring countries.

Quality of Service

Lao Airlines is committed to providing top-notch service to its passengers. The airline’s focus on passenger satisfaction is evident throughout the travel experience. Passengers can conveniently book flights through the airline’s user-friendly website and mobile app.

Onboard, travelers can expect comfortable seating, in-flight entertainment, and a selection of delicious cuisine. Lao Airlines offers a range of services, including special meals to accommodate dietary restrictions and access to airport lounges. The cabin crew is known for their warm hospitality and professionalism, ensuring passengers have a pleasant journey.

Sustainability Efforts

Lao Airlines recognizes the importance of responsible environmental practices in the aviation industry. The airline has taken several steps to reduce its environmental impact. This includes investing in more fuel-efficient aircraft and adopting eco-friendly operational practices. Lao Airlines is also exploring carbon offset programs and sustainable aviation biofuels, aligning itself with the global push for more environmentally-conscious travel.

Community Engagement

Beyond providing flights, Lao Airlines actively engages with local communities and supports various social and environmental initiatives. The airline’s commitment to community development extends to activities like disaster relief, educational support, and cultural promotion. By participating in local events and contributing to the betterment of society, Lao Airlines demonstrates its dedication to the Lao people.

Challenges and Opportunities

The aviation industry faces a range of challenges and opportunities, and Lao Airlines is no exception. The airline has encountered hurdles such as competition, economic fluctuations, and, like many others, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the airline has shown resilience and adaptability in the face of adversity.

At the same time, Lao Airlines recognizes numerous opportunities for growth. The rising demand for air travel in Southeast Asia and the strategic location of Laos make it well-positioned for expansion. The airline can tap into emerging markets and establish partnerships to further strengthen its regional presence.

Navigating the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic created unprecedented challenges for the aviation industry, including Lao Airlines. Travel restrictions, lockdowns, and passenger concerns led to a significant reduction in air travel. However, Lao Airlines promptly adapted to the new circumstances, implementing stringent health and safety measures to protect passengers and staff. It also introduced flexible booking policies to accommodate changing travel plans. As the world slowly emerges from the pandemic, Lao Airlines is committed to restoring connectivity in Southeast Asia.

The Future of Lao Airlines

Looking forward, Lao Airlines is well-equipped to face the challenges and seize the opportunities that lie ahead. The airline’s commitment to excellence, sustainability, community engagement, and the passenger experience remains unwavering. With a focus on expanding its network, enhancing services, and leveraging emerging technologies, Lao Airlines is on a trajectory of sustained growth and success.


Lao Airlines, as the national carrier of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, has played a significant role in connecting Laos to the world and facilitating economic growth and cultural exchange. From its humble beginnings in 1976 to its current status as a vital player in the regional aviation industry, Lao Airlines has continued to evolve and adapt to meet the needs of its passengers and the nation.

The airline’s modern fleet, extensive network, commitment to passenger satisfaction, and dedication to sustainability and community engagement make it a cornerstone of the Lao aviation sector. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic and the ever-changing aviation landscape, Lao Airlines is well-positioned to navigate the future with resilience and adaptability. As it continues to connect Laos to the world, the airline’s impact on both the aviation sector and the communities it serves is undeniable. The skies remain open, and Lao Airlines continues to soar above them.



Lao Airlines Fleet

As of December 2022, Lao Airlines operates a fleet of 11 aircraft. This comprises four A320-200s, four ATR72-500s, and three ATR72-600s on scheduled passenger flights to Luang Namtha, Luang Prabang, Oudomxay, Pakse, Savannakhet, and Xieng Khouang locally as well as Bangkok Suvarnabhumi, Busan, Changzhou, Chengdu, Chiang Mai, Guangzhou, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Kunming Changshui, Seoul Incheon, and Siem Reap internationally. Lao Airlines has codeshare agreements with Thai Airways and Vietnam Airlines.



Lao Airlines Baggage

Carry-on Baggage

Passengers are permitted 1 x 7kg cabin bag free of charge for their flight. This item must not exceed the dimensions 30 x 60 x 18cm.

In addition, passengers are permitted to carry a personal object with them. This can be items such as a handbag, coat, umbrella or crutches.


Checked Baggage

Passengers travelling in economy class are permitted 20kg of free checked luggage for international flights.

For passengers in Business class, they are allowed 30kg of free checked luggage.



Lao Airlines Check-In Information

Online Check-In

Lao Airlines offer online check-in for all passengers who have purchased a ticket with the airline. To check-in online with Lao Airlines, you’ll need your booking reference or ticket number, your surname and where you’ll be departing from.


Airport Check-In

Lao Airlines passengers flying internationally should check-in at least two hours prior to scheduled departure time. For domestic flights, Lao Airlines passengers should check in at the airport at least one and a half hours prior to scheduled departure time.




Class Fares

The airline offers economy seating, and on the Airbus, also offers business class seats:

ATR 72-500: 70 Economy seats

ATR 72-600: 70 Economy seats

AIRBUS 1320-214: 126/150 Economy seats, 8/16 Business seats



Economy Class

On-board meals/snacks, depending on the flight time, and beverages are complimentary.

There is no in-flight entertainment, but duty-free shopping and in-flight magazines are available. Seats are comfortable, with fold-down back-chair trays.



Business Class

Make the most of extra-wide, padded and comfortable seats.

Traveling business class will qualify customers to access lounges before flying, with free snacks provided.



Lao Airlines Route Map

Lao Airlines Route Map

Lao Airlines Popular Routes


Vientiane to Busan

Luang Namtha to Hanoi

Seoul toVientiane

Vientiane to Siem Reap

Pakse to Vientiane

Phnom Penh to Vientiane


Frequent Flyer Programme

Lao Airlines have a frequent flyer programme called Champa Muang Lao. Their frequent flyer programme allows passengers to gain priority check-in, access to business lounges and other bonuses. Passengers can exchange miles for points to use when upgrading Class, excess baggage and purchasing flights.


Special Services


Lao Airlines provide its passengers with the option to order a vegetarian meal onboard its aircraft. Requests for a vegetarian meal must be made 48 hours prior to departure to ensure that the correct provisions are made.


Lao Airlines offer a wheelchair service to those passengers who struggle to walk or move on their own and require some assistance. This service is a request that passengers must make through booking agents or Lao Airlines office no less than 3 days before departure, however, this is not mandatory.


Hub Airport

Wattay International Airport


Wattay International Airport (IATA code: VTE, ICAO code: VLVT) is the main international airport in Laos. Located in the capital city, Vientiane, it serves as the primary gateway for air travel into and out of the country. The airport is named after the nearby Wattay village.

Wattay International Airport is situated approximately 3 kilometers west of downtown Vientiane, making it easily accessible for travelers. It serves as a hub for both domestic and international flights, connecting Laos with various destinations within the country and around the world.

The airport has a single terminal building that handles both arrivals and departures. It offers a range of facilities and services to accommodate passengers, including check-in counters, immigration and customs facilities, duty-free shops, restaurants, currency exchange counters, and car rental services. Additionally, the airport provides basic amenities such as ATMs, free Wi-Fi, and a post office.

Several airlines operate flights from Wattay International Airport, including Lao Airlines, Thai Airways, Vietnam Airlines, Bangkok Airways, China Eastern Airlines, and AirAsia. These airlines offer domestic flights to destinations within Laos, as well as international connections to countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, China, Singapore, South Korea, and more.

It’s important to note that airport facilities and services may have changed since my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, so it’s recommended to check the official website or contact the airport directly for the most up-to-date information regarding flight schedules, services, and any specific requirements or regulations.


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