Lien Khuong International Airport (DLI) is one of Vietnam’s modernization success stories, with a flashy new terminal, modern runway infrastructure, and growing popularity as an international destination. The airport itself is located around 30km (18 miles) from Da Lat, and offers a range of domestic and international flights.
History of DLI
The airport itself is steeped in history, with the runway being first cleared in 1933 by the colonial French to provide access to the regional highlands and then further expanded as the South sought to modernize the region.
However, when South Vietnam changed hands and rejoined the north, the airport was relegated into an essentially private airport for high-level party members flying to the area for business and pleasure.
It wasn’t until 1992 when the airport started to resume regular commercial services to Ho Chi Minh City. When the country started to open up to the West, the government moved to fast track development of a new terminal capable of supporting up to two million passengers a year. And it was needed, with the airport already at overcapacity with 2.34 million passengers landing in 2019.
Airlines at DLI
Eight different airlines serve the airport. Notable routes include:
- Air Asia flying from Kuala Lumpur
- Bamboo Airways from both Hanoi and Da Nang
- Jetstar Pacific from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City
- International carrier Korean Air from Seoul Korea
- Qingdao Airlines from Lanzhou China
- Thai Vietjet from Bangkok
- Vietjet from a range of domestic destinations
- Vietnam Airlines Da Nang, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City
Terminal at DLI
The new terminal is a bit small and thanks to the sudden surge in popularity (the airport has increased traffic by 26% year on year), it might be a little overcrowded. The airport has all the modern conveniences you would expect, such as air conditioning, shops, and duty-free.
However, there is a lack of money exchanges at the airport and ATMs airside at this current time, so you will need to pull out money before you leave. Additionally, if you are flying from the airport, be sure to eat before you pass through security as the choices are much limited (and more expensive) on the other side of the barrier.
Transportation at DLI
The airport provides access to the city of Da Lat, and can be reached by Taxi and Airport Shuttle.
If you’re looking to grab a taxi, it’s far cheaper to book one from the baggage terminal rather than entering one at the taxi rank outside the terminal doors. It will take around 35 minutes to drive to the city center and cost around 220,000 Dong (~$9.50 USD), although with some haggling you should be able to get the price down to 160,000 Dong (~$7.00 USD).
The airport bus costs around 40,000 Dong (~$1.70 USD) and will take around 40 minutes. It drives right to the city center and you may be able to request a stop at many of the major hotels (depending on the route that the bus takes).
Address: QL20, Tp. Đà Lạt, Lâm Đồng
Elevation: 962 m
Phone: 0263 3843 373
Province: Lâm Đồng
Owner: Airports Corporation of Vietnam