• Skardu Airport – Pakistan’s Most Scenic Airport

Skardu Airport – Pakistan’s Most Scenic Airport

Skardu, the capital of Gilgit Baltistan and an integral part of Pakistan-Administered Kashmir, is a famous tourist destination worldwide. Also, the world’s second-largest peak, K2, is in Skardu. It was necessary then to construct a modern airport quickly to accommodate the sudden influx of domestic and foreign tourists and facilitate travel to and from the city of Skardu. As a result, the authorities decided to build a new airport, and the location chosen was Gamba Skardu, close to the central town of Skardu. The Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority also oversees and runs the Skardu International Airport, just like it does for Pakistan’s other airports.

Here are the facilities offered at this Airport and what you can expect from Skardu International Airport if you depart from or land at Skardu Airport. 

Skardu Airport Location:

Situated in the lovely city of Skardu, which is the administrative center of the Skardu District in Gilgit-Baltistan, It is an international civil airport. It plays a significant role in making Skardu a Hub of tourism. About 18 kilometers to the northwest of the central city of Skardu, on Airport Road, is where you’ll find Skardu International Airport. It is 35 minutes away from the town of Skardu. Standing brilliantly on mountainous terrain, passengers can enjoy the breathtaking view of the snow-covered mountains and landscapes when they land and take off. Standing at roughly 7316 feet, this domestic Airport acts as a connection between Skardu and Islamabad, providing flights between Skardu and Karachi. Skardu Airport is open from daylight till sunset during the summer. However, because of the significant snowfall during the winter, it remains closed. 

Skardu International Airport Weather

The Skardu Airport is undoubtedly a work of art, surrounded by snow-capped mountain peaks, the captivating turquoise Indus River, and the well-known Katpana desert. The natural beauty of this place increases significantly to provide guests with endless entertainment. As Skardu is in the Northern Hemisphere, thousands of tourists flock to Skardu because of its cold and pleasant weather. In summer, the temperature never exceeds two degrees Celsius. However, in winter, the temperature can sometimes drop below -16 degrees Celsius, and visitors can enjoy intense snowfall. Autumn and Spring are moderately dry, with freeze-thaw conditions. Always carry thick fluffy jackets, sweaters, and extra layers if you’re traveling to Skardu during any month of the year because Skardu is always cold. 

The best time to visit Skardu depends upon your preference. The most popular time of year for travelers is during the summer when they come to Skardu to escape the oppressive heat of the plains of Pakistan. If you want an unforgettable experience of romantic rainfalls and hailstorms, the appropriate time to visit is between June and July. However, you can visit Skardu from November to February if you love snowfall and ice skating. It is also important to note that if you want to enjoy Autumn, October is the finest month to travel to Skardu. If you still need to, you can schedule your visit to this enchanted realm anytime between April and October. 

Popular Domestic & International Routes for Skardu Airport

Both domestic and international travelers use the picturesque Airport to fly to Skardu valley, one of Pakistan’s most well-liked tourist sites. You’ll get a sense of paradise when you’re at Skardu.

Top Domestic Flight Routes from Skardu International Airport Include:

Skardu ⇒ Islamabad

Skardu ⇒ Karachi

Skardu ⇒ Lahore

Skardu ⇒ Multan

Top International Flight Routes from Skardu International Airport Include: 

Skardu ⇒ Dubai

Skardu ⇒ Dublin

Skardu ⇒ Doha

Skardu ⇒ Krakow

Skardu ⇒ Kuwait

Skardu ⇒ Abu Dhabi

Skardu ⇒ Dhaka

Skardu ⇒ Mumbai

Skardu Airport Flight Schedule

The flight schedule of International flights and domestic at Skardu Airport fluctuates based on the weather conditions, and the flights usually operate in clear weather and during the day. It is simple to check domestic and Skardu Airport International Flights’ arrivals, departures, and flight schedules. You ought to take the following actions:

Step 1: Go to Skardu international airport’s official Website or the official Website of the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority. 

Step 2: After the Website has opened, click the option of ”Flights”. 

Step 3: You will find the Skardu airport flight schedule, flight delay status, cancellation of flights arriving at Skardu, current weather, and all the details you want to know.

Skardu Airport Code

For efficient and secure aircraft operations, the International Airport Transport Association, or IATA as it is more generally known, assigns a unique code to every Airport worldwide. Skardu Airport Code awarded by IATA is KDU.

The International Civil Aviation Organization, or ICAO, similarly assigns airports a special designation for operational purposes. Skardu Airport Code awarded by ICAO is OPSD.

Operating Airlines at Skardu Airport

Currently, PIA is the only airline that frequently offers the service of operating flights to Skardu International Airport in Gilgit Baltistan. Running Under the administrative supervision of the Secretary of the Government of Pakistan for Aviation, Pakistan International Airlines, also known as PIA, operates as the national flag carrier of Pakistan. Narrow-body aircraft operate flights using visual flight rules (VFR) at Skardu International Airport. Purchase your tickets two or three days before the day of departure if you intend to visit the location. Make sure to reach the Airport at least three hours before takeoff if you want to avoid any hurdles. The “Oshkosh RFF vehicles” are in use at Skardu Airport.

Facilities at Skardu Airport

Despite being a small airport, Skardu boasts all the facilities and amenities needed for a hassle-free trip. There is an ample parking space, a separate VIP lounge, and clean arrival and departure lounges. Additionally, the passengers have access to a café and restrooms. Let us have a glimpse of some of the world-class facilities.

Departure Lounge

The Departure Lounge, inside Skardu Airport, offers a luxurious and welcoming setting where you may unwind.

The lounge offers decent internet connectivity, plenty of charging, and power outlets for gadgets for those seeking a quiet workplace setting.

Several safeguards have been arranged at this Airport to ensure that the visitors have a secure environment where they can work and study. The authorities have installed a New air filtration technology to provide a continuous supply of fresh air. Additionally, the Authorities and staff are following sanitization and cleaning measures strictly. With these, visitors can feel secure and have a relaxing and enjoyable time at the lounge.

Prayer Room

Considering travelers’ requirements, a spacious prayer room at the Airport is set aside. You can spend time at the Airport while praying in peace and serene environment.

Porter Service

you can travel more comfortably while the staff will transport your luggage. You can use the porter service to help you with your bags and improve the comfort of your trip. The porter crew will accompany you to the check-in desk and assist you with your luggage.

Special Assistance for Passengers with Limited Mobility (PRM) 

The Skardu Airport has arranged facilities to assist travelers and clients with special requirements and limited mobility.

Popular Tourist Locations near Skardu Airport

Every year, a sizable number of domestic and foreign tourists use this Airport in Gilgit-Baltistan. Many tourists and adventurers prefer flying to Skardu to explore: The picturesque Kharpocho Fort, Satpara, and Kachura Lakes see the beautiful Manthoka Waterfall, visit the Shigar and Khaplu forts, go hiking in the Deosai National Park or spend a few days at the world-famous Shangrila Resort. As a result, this Airport significantly contributes to increasing tourism in the area. Let us discuss in detail the popular and worth visiting Tourist Locations in Skardu:

Kharphocho Fort

Snuggled between the majestic Karakoram and the highest Himalayan mountains is situated the Kharphocho fort Skardu Gilgit Baltistan. It is a heaven on earth for nature-admiring people. The sheer tremendous volume of the Fort will throw you off. A journey to this mesmerizing location is never dull. It is one of Baltistan’s most well-liked and popular tourist attractions. While you are on the way towards the Kharphocho fort, the beautiful view of Skardu valley that you will come across is unmatchable, with its vast greenery and majestic mountains spreading in all directions. Wherever your eyes will navigate, you will see lush greenery, tiny homes of Skardu people at a distance, shiny lakes, and gigantic mountains.  

Shigar Fort

Shigar Fort is a splendid tourist spot, surrounded by lush green landscapes and skyrocketed mountains. The beautiful clouds, majestic mountains, and serene environment make this place a piece of heaven on earth. This Fort has been converted into a luxurious Palace and is a famous tourist attraction in Gilgit Baltistan. Shigar Fort, along with a garden, a restaurant, and a roaring Shigar stream, offers many attractions to its visitors. 

Khaplu Fort

Khaplu Fort, also popularly known as Yabgo Khar, is a fort transformed into a Palace. The Yabgo Khar means “The fort on the roof.” Located on the upper side of Khaplu town of Skardu, in front of Karakoram highway, Khaplu Fort is a magnificent architectural landmark. Khaplu Fort served as a royal residence for the King of Khaplu. This enchanting location is a classic living example of a royal residence in Baltistan. Khaplu Palace is now managed by Serena Hotels, providing tourists and guests with a great authentic heritage experience. This place will let you experience the royal lifestyle. As you enter Khaplu Fort, you can see its intricately interconnected curved balconies, gardens, and courtyards. It is a popular destination among locals and tourists because of its natural beauty. You can see the Fort, Museum, and scenic landscape in one place. The entire place is breathtaking, and if you visit it early in the morning, you will witness it at its most spectacular.

Deosai National Park

Deosai is among the most well-known tourist attractions in Skardu. The primary purpose of its establishment was to preserve the lives of numerous animal and bird species. This park is also notable for its lush meadows, animals, and vegetation, in addition to its snow-capped mountains, streams, and diverse wildflowers. The National Park is only accessible to visitors during the summer when they can enjoy a spectacular display of flowers and butterflies.

Satpara Lake

This lake is the definition of a fairy-tale escape situated in the breathtaking Skardu valley. It has a magical lake in the middle, is bright blue, covered in rainbows, and encircled by glacial mountains. Satpara Lake is also well-known for its boating and fishing.

Upper Kachura Lake

The Skardu Valley’s most alluring lake is this one. Its distance from Skardu city is 20 kilometers, and its depth is roughly 60 meters. In the local Balti language, it has the name Foroq Tso. Upper Kachura Lake is one of Skardu’s top tourist destinations.

Basho Valley

Located 20 kilometers from Skardu Airport, Basho is a lovely green scenic valley. The pine forests in the valley are very famous for their enchanting beauty. Also present are waterfalls and lush meadows. It is one of Skardu’s most popular attractions.

Katpana Lake

One of Skardu’s most visited tourist destinations is Katpana Lake. You can see dunes between Skardu Airport and the famous Katpana Lake. These dunes, located between the Karakoram and the Himalayas, are nothing short of a wonder. It comes in on the list of one of Skardu’s significant attractions. Dunes near the Indus River cover Skardu’s two central deserts, the Katpana Desert and the Shigar Desert. 

Sheosar Lake

When exploring the vast Deosai plains, you will see the mesmerizing Sheosar Lake. It is of this kind, rising 13,589 feet above sea level to become the highest lake in the world. You will witness a mesmerizing scene created by the deep blue lake, the verdant plains of Deosai surrounding it, and the deadly Nanga Parbat mountains in the distance. Every season at the lake has its allure; the frozen lake in winter and the rainbow of hues in summer enchant visitors.

Shangrila Resort

Located 35 minutes from Skardu, the Heavenly Shangrila Resort is brilliantly standing on a magnificent lake and surrounded by breathtaking landscapes. Boating in Skardu is this resort’s primary draw. Located The resort is along Lower Kachura Lake’s shore. Skardu is a well-known spot for picnics.

Hotels Near Skardu Airport

After discussing the best sights in Skardu, let’s move on to the next section. The following is a list of your hotel choices when traveling to Skardu. In addition to hotels, camping in Skardu is a fantastic experience.

Skardu Royal Hotel and Restaurant

The Skardu Royal Hotel and Restaurant offers lodging with air conditioning in Skardu. You can stay comfortably in this Hotel with your loved ones. Visitors to this establishment can use the restaurant and 24-hour front desk. Every morning, the Hotel serves an Asian breakfast. The Skardu Royal Hotel and Restaurant is located 21 miles from Shigar.

Address: Clifton Bridge, Mehdi Colony, Skardu

Contact: 0345 1397377

Shangrila Resort Skardu

The magnificent lakeside Shangrila Resort is the most well-liked lodging option in Skardu among visitors and adventurers. Thanks to its distinctive Tibetan-inspired architecture and first-rate amenities, it is the perfect destination to spend your vacations. The Shangrila Resort Skardu stands among some of the highest peaks on earth. Because of its enchanting beauty, tourists consider it as “Heaven On Earth.” It encircles the heart-shaped Kachur Lake, surrounded by fruit orchards and gardens full of blooms. A visit to Shangrila Resort is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you’ll want to have again and again. 

Location: Kachura, Skardu

Contact: (058155) 54942

Hotel Diego Skardu

There is a garden and a terrace at the Hotel Diego in Skardu. Along with a private bathroom with a shower and slippers, some rooms at Hotel Reego also have balconies. Facilities of a restaurant, an all-time open front desk, quick room service, and free WiFi are all provided by this Hotel. You may play table tennis at Hotel Diego, including bike and car rentals.

Location: Alamdar Road, Kargrong, Skardu

Contact: 0335 5567775

Hotel Mountain Lodge Skardu 

The Hotel Mountain Lodge in Skardu offers ample facilities for its guests, including a restaurant, a bar, a gym, and a garden. This resort gives visitors access to a terrace and family rooms. The Hotel provides free WiFi, free airport shuttle service, room service, and a round-the-clock front desk. Moreover, the facility of the seating area, a flat-screen TV, a safety deposit box, and an attached bathroom with a bidet, bathrobes, and complimentary amenities are also available. The Hotel offers both buffet-style and à la-carte breakfast options. 

Location: Satpara Road, Skardu

Contact: 0300 9091494

Green Paradise Resort Skardu

Rooms have private balconies at Skardu’s 5-star Green Paradise Resort and ample facilities for their precious guests. They serve their potential customers continental breakfast at the Green Paradise Resort. 

Location: Main Haji Gham road, Skardu

Contact: 0342 6768847

Nearest Airports

International Airports near Skardu International Airport are:

407 km: Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee International Airport Amritsar, India

663 km: Fergana International Airport, Fergana, Uzbekistan

707 km: Bacha Khan International Airport, Peshawar, Pakistan

352 km: Shache Airport, Yarkant County, China 

354 km: Gaggal Airport, Kangra, India

Domestic Airports near Skardu International Airport are:

204 km: Gilgit Airport, Gilgit, Pakistan

261 km: Chilas Airport, Chilas, Pakistan

How to Reach Skardu Airport?

Skardu Airport is simple to reach from any site in the city. There are different modes of transportation to reach the Airport. If you want to get to Skardu Airport from Lahore, you can travel through Lahore-Islamabad Motorway/M-2 and Islamabad-Peshawar Motorway/AH1/M-1. It will take you about 17 hours to reach your destination. 

Skardu Airport Contact Details:

You can contact the Skardu International Airport for any query via the following contact number or Email of the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority: 

Contact Number: 021-99071111

Email: support@caapakistan.com.pk

You must contact the PIA Contact Center to purchase a ticket to Skardu.

Phone Number: 0330-0786786

Interesting facts about Skardu International Airport

  • Skardu airport’s operational runway is around 12,000 feet long and is the longest in Pakistan. 
  • Skardu airport’s apron can accommodate up to three Boeing 737 planes.

FAQs

1. Is Skardu airport operational?

It is, indeed. On December 2, 2021, Skardu Airport was designated and reopened as an international airport following renovations to become an essential platform for facilitating the tourism industry and boosting foreign exchange in Pakistan. It is operational to make the journey of tourists comfortable and carefree. 

2. How far is Skardu from Islamabad by air?

Currently, two daily ATR42 flights operated by Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) connect Skardu Airport with Islamabad International Airport. There are approximately ten flights every week from Islamabad to Skardu. An average flight between these destinations takes about one hour and fifteen minutes. Skardu is 318 Km far from Islamabad by air. 

3. What are the most popular flights from Skardu?

The most popular flight routes from Skardu are Skardu to Islamabad, Skardu to Gilgit, Skardu to Karachi, and Skardu to Lahore. There are approximately 11 weekly flights from Skardu to Islamabad and two from Skardu to Gilgit. 

4. How many airlines fly from Skardu?

There are currently two airlines flying from Skardu: Airblue and Pakistan International Airlines. The destination of Airblue is Islamabad, and the Destinations of Pakistan International Airlines are Islamabad, Karachi, and Lahore. 

Conclusion

Skardu International Airport is a top-class airport that provides its passengers with a unique and unforgettable travel experience. With its modern infrastructure and convenient location, this Airport has made traveling to and from Skardu easier. By providing reliable customer services and top-notch amenities, it is no wonder why this Airport has become a premier destination for tourists from all over the world. Whether a business traveler or a tourist, you can experience excellent services and convenience at Skardu International Airport.