Mongolian Airlines



Mongolian airlines offer no-frills . . . But if the thought of riding across nonexistent roads churns your stomach then catch a domestic flight.

The views can be spectacular . . .

View from Mongolia Airline

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.

MIAT 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 . . .

Aero Mongolia 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 . . .

Central Mongolia Airports

Arvaiheer, Uvurhangai aimag (AVK)—MIAT

Northern Mongolia Airports

Hatgal, Huvsgul aimag (HTM)—MIAT
Murun, Huvsgul aimag (MXV)—MIAT, Aero Mongolia, Eznis
Bulgan, Bulgan aimag (UGA)—MIAT
Tosontsengel, Zavhan aimag (TNZ)—Aero Mongolia
Donoi, Zavhan aimag (ULZ)—Aero Mongolia, Eznis

Eastern Mongolia Airports

Choibalsan, Dornod aimag (COQ)—Aero Mongolia, Eznis

Southern Mongolia Airports

Oyutolgoi, Umnugobi aimag (ZMOT)—Aero Mongolia
Dalanzadgad, Umnugobi aimag (DLZ)—MIAT, Eznis
Mandalgobi, Dundgobi aimag (MXW)—MIAT
Bayanhongor, Bayanhongor aimag (BYN)—MIAT, Eznis

Western Mongolia Airports

Hovd-Bulgan, Hovd aimag (HBU)—MIAT
Hovd, Hovd aimag (HVD)—MIAT, Aero Mongolia, Eznis
Ulgii, Bayan-Ulgii aimag (ULN)—MIAT, Aero Mongolia, Eznis
Ulaangom, Uvs aimag (ULO)—Aero Mongolia, Eznis

Pease note:

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.

Buying Tickets

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!”

You will need a Mongolian company to purchase tickets before you arrive. Black Ibex Expeditions offer the best domestic air ticket reservation service. Baggage

Carry-on baggage must not exceed 5KG. The checked in baggage limit depends on how much you pay.

Safety

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.

Delays

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 :)

Chartered Airlines

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!

Spelling

I always transcribe the Mongolian letter ‘x’ as ‘h’. Other authors opt for ‘kh’. Thus some spell ‘Huvsgul’ as ‘Khuvsgul’.

Mongolians spell ‘Ulan Bator’—‘Ulaan Baatar’.


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