Carbon nanotubes reinforced alumina was fabricated by spark plasma sintering method. When adding 0.2wt% nanotubes, the fracture toughness of the composites prepared increases 19% compared with the pure alumina ceramics. The effect of sintering schedule on microstructure and mechanical properties is investigated systematically. Microstructure studies reveal that at high sintering temperature, the nanotubes tend to gather in the gaps surrounded by three or more grains in a flocculent state, which leads to poor mechanical properties. Raman spectrum indicates that long sintering duration may cause serious nanotubes destruction and lower the mechanical properties.