Mongolian airlines offer no-frills . . . But if the thought of riding across
churns your stomach then catch a domestic flight.
The views can be spectacular . . .
The BIG three Mongolian airlines . . .
Three airlines offer scheduled domestic flights: MIAT, Aero Mongolia and Eznis.
Each has their base at the Chinggis Khan International Airport in Ulan Bator.
began operations as the national carrier in 1956. Aided by Aeroflot and an Antonov plane they first flew to Irkutsk in Russia. They now fly to six international and eleven local destinations.
If you want to know how it feels to takeoff with MIAT from their home base, watch the following video . . .
took to the skies in 2003 as a MIAT off-shoot. It has a well-established domestic schedule flying to nine destinations.
You can see a video of a parked Aero Mongolia plane
here.Eznis entered the Mongolian market in 2006. Led by a Canadian, its staff includes ex-pats and Mongolians.
Widely regarded as the safest local airline Eznis offers return flights to eight local destinations.
Just click on the Mongolian airlines above to discover their latest schedules.
The Destinations . . .
Each Mongolian aimag (or province) has its own airport. This often consists of a grass strip—longer than a cricket pitch but in slightly worse condition.
Below I have supplied a list of airports in Mongolia and the airlines that fly to each . . .
Of the two airports in Huvsgul aimag, Hatgal airport lies closest to Huvsgul Lake.
The Oyutolgoi airport serves the local gold/copper mine—not a recommended tourist site.
Reserve your flight EARLY! Flights book out months in advance—even in winter. Check out the Eznis booking page
and try to book a flight anywhere this month. It’s a good bet all flights will show up as “Sold Out!”
Carry-on baggage must not exceed 5KG. The checked in baggage limit depends on how much you pay.
Only MIAT has had a fatal aircraft accident. In fact, from 1993 to1997 MIAT had three fatal accidents on its domestic route. Since then, MIAT has upgraded its fleet and taken aircraft servicing and maintenance a lot more seriously.
Most ex-pats regard Eznis as the safest airline—some will fly with no one else.
Mongolian pilots have a reputation for taking off in any weather. As a result, few flights experience delay. If this worries you then travel in Mongolia by jeep—though I should warn you jeeps are statistically more dangerous :)
You can charter planes with all the above airlines PLUS a few more —
Blue Sky Aviation
ranks top of my charter airlines list.
They can take you to the furthest reaches of Mongolia in less than six hours!
I always transcribe the Mongolian letter ‘x’ as ‘h’. Other authors opt for ‘kh’. Thus some spell ‘Huvsgul’ as ‘Khuvsgul’.