there are a couple of threads related to this, i don't know if you've searched the forum before asking [ehem] but it seems there is never much clear information regarding anything to do with Lao Airlines.
If i were you i'd plan to fly out of Savannakhet due to the uncertainty surrounding Pakse.
I was also under the impression Lao flights all went back to Vietiane before flying internationally anyway? Not sure on this one
anyway, sorry i couldn't be of more help
The airport was closed last year, then reopened for high season. I heard a week or so ago it had closed again for further repairs and according to the Lao Airlines new and funky website, it isn't in operation -- they're using Savannakhet airport instead and shuttling peeps down by bus.
Let's hope that they use 'appropriate techniques' this time round :P
11 March 2010 KPL Lao News Agency
Pakse Airport to reopen in two months
(KPL) Champassak re-improves its Pakse airport and hopes it will be ready for use in May, according to an official.
Head of the Civil Aviation Department, Ministry of Public Works and Transport, Mr. Yakoua Lorpangkao, said that the improvement of Pakse Airport began in March 2008 and would take 20 months.
Although the improvement was over the airport could not be used after a test run in November last year. The improvement had been conducted with inappropriate techniques so the airport is being re-improved now, according to Mr. Yakoua.
The improvement includes the expansion of its runway from 1,625 m long and 36 m wide to 2,400 m long and 45 m wide in order to enable the airport in this southernmost province to support large aircrafts such as Boeing 737s and Airbus 320s.
The Pakse International Airport in Champassak province will be put back into service again at the end this week after a suspension since early February.
The closure of the Pakse International Airport service was for the reconstruction of the 40-year old runway after the detection of over 50 per cent of the runway surface was broken. The reconstruction of the 1.7-km long runway, now 86 per cent of the plan, is on the final touch.
Actually the Pakse International Airport was put into use in early November 2009 following the renovation. But it had to be closed again following the detection of cracks on the runway surface in February this year.
Source: KPL Lao News Agency
May 19, 2010
Vientiane Times version of the same news that makes more sense...
+Pakxe international airport in Champassak province will reopen this Friday and will be able to accommodate 72-seat ATR planes and 60-seat MA aircraft.+
+“The project is currently 86 percent complete. We expect to be completely finished in September, when the runway will be extended to 2,400m, enabling Boeing 737 and Airbus 320 aircraft, both with a seating capacity of 150, to land at the airport,” he said.+
+“We still have 600 metres of runway to lay and are also working on drainage and electrical systems along the landing strip.”+
+Lao Airlines will recommence flights to the airport on June 1, according to Lao Airlines Marketing Manager Mr Sitthideth Duangsith.+
Source: Vientiane Times
By Panyasith Thammavongsa
May 19, 2010
I visited the Lao Airlines office here in Chiang Mai last week and the staff were able to "confirm" the re-opening of Pakse airport in late May. You'd normally expect some sort of press release, but they probably want to wait and see if the cement starts cracking in wet season or not. Then if all is well sometime around October before high season "Lao Airlines announces new upgrades to Pakse Airport blah blah blah". If you see any hard news on this please add a link here.