Scenic Flight to Lukla Airport
26 Jul

Scenic Flight To Lukla Airport

Kathmandu Airport and the runways are shared by both domestic and international flights. Can be quite busy in the high tourism seasons, where Lukla flights will be in the peak time. To avoid the busy air traffic and landing on the runways can be a problem. 

Completing the flights and making sure all travelers are into Lukla and Outing from Lukla on time, Lukla Flight operates from Manthali (Ramechhap) Airport during the peak season. The month of October and November are in the autumn season and Month of March to May are in the Spring season Lukla flights operate from Manthali (Ramechhap Airport). 

During this period (October and November in the autumn season and March to May in the Spring season) there is no flight available KTM – LUKLA and LUKLA – KTM. 

The Tenzing Hillary Airport Lukla.
The scenic flight to Lukla Tenzing & Hillary Airport is an amazing experience flying above beautiful landscapes. Overlooking grand unparalleled views of the Himalayan giant peaks with majestic Mt. Everest, Lhotse as far as Mt. Makalu.

A panoramic flight, trekkers can enjoy an ever-exciting experience on 30-35 minutes flight to Lukla from Kathmandu. 

Most travelers have described it as the world’s most dangerous airport, but it is not that bad or worse. It is a unique airport with short runways, built for smaller aircraft to land and take off. If it was dangerous, just imagine why thousands of trekkers and mountaineers fly to Lukla every season of the year. It is one of the best mountainous airports ever built in the history of aviation. 

The Lukla Airport is named Tenzing & Hillary a tribute to late legendary mountaineers. The first summiteer to reach on top of Mt. Everest on May 29th, 1953 with British Expedition. In the early day, it was a long trek from Jiri to reach high Khumbu areas and to Everest base camp.

Since the airport was built in early 1970, then made the treks and other adventures around Khumbu much shorter. The airport was built with the support of the late Sir Edmund Hillary and his organization known as the Himalayan Trust. At present Lukla Tenzing & Hillary Airport is one of the busiest airports for domestic flights in Nepal. Due to the mass influx of trekkers, adventurers, and mountaineers that visits high Khumbu at the best time of the year.

Certainly, a great breathtaking flight to Lukla overlooking the magnificent panorama of Himalayan peaks from the take-off to landing both ways. 

Truly an overwhelming flight of enchantment to experience, amidst towering peaks in the shade of Mt. Everest. Overlooking the range of Himalayan peaks with dramatic views of Nepal's mountainous landscapes of green hills and verdant valleys.

The Tenzing Hillary Airport from Early Days to Present.
At present due to the mass flow of visitors, Lukla is a large spread-out town with the only airport. Where regular flight operates in and out of Kathmandu to Lukla, situated 2,860 meters / 9,383 feet high

It is a popular place for trekkers and mountaineers for various adventures around the high Khumbu and Everest areas. Lukla is the main gateway for exciting treks and mountaineering around the high Khumbu region. 

Most visitors prefer flying to Lukla, which is the shortest means of reaching to chosen destinations. Lukla Airport was built in 1964, the construction was done under the supervision of Sir Edmund Hillary. 

Completed in the mid-1970, the runway was on a dirt track with a small parking lot for 3-4 smaller aircraft. Then the runway and the parking ground were paved until recently in 2001. At present a good airport and terminal has been constructed and then named the Tenzing & Hillary Airport. The runway is 527 m (1,729 feet) × 30 m (98 feet) with an 11.7 % gradient. The airport's elevation is 2,845 m 9,334 feet, located close to the town of Lukla with many nice lodges, hotels, and resorts. 

As well as many nice restaurants, pubs, and bars. Includes a few Government-authorized Banks and ATMs. The mountains seen from Lukla are Kongde, Naulekh, or Kalo-Himal Ridge which forms the boundary of Dudh Koshi Valley and Hinku Valley.

The Flight to Lukla from Kathmandu and Vice Versa;
The flight to Lukla operates early morning depending upon the weather condition, a drive of less than half an hour. As per the location of your hotels, transfer to Kathmandu domestic airport terminal to check in at the respective airline's counter. 

After collecting the boarding pass and then checking the baggage as per the weight allowed of 15 kg. Includes handbags and day packs, for extra weight some fee is charged or to be sent on next airplanes. Going through security, where pen knives, sharp items, and lighters, matches are not allowed to carry with you.

As time for the flight getting abroad the small aircraft, and then taking off the ground facing superb mountain views. Including a panorama of the whole Kathmandu valley and the city, as the plane reaches higher unparalleled views of Himalayan peaks. Includes Manaslu and Ganesh Himal in the west with Langtang, Jugal Himal towards north central. 

As the plane diverts north east views of Mt. Gaurishankar, Melung-tse, and Number Himal with Mt. Everest. The plane heads high above Lamjura-La pass 3,450 m high covered in dense rhododendron and pine forest.

Enjoy the grand views of Nepal's rural country landscapes of deep valleys, rolling green hills dotted with farm villages. As plane heads straight north above the Khari-Khola and Surkhe villages and makes a dramatic smooth landing. Then the aircraft speeds on uphill runways to the parking lot of Lukla Tenzing & Hillary Airport. 

As you step off the small aircraft after an exciting and picturesque flight and then your guide and trekking staff receives you.

Note that during this period (October and November in the autumn season and March to May in the Spring season) there is no flight available KTM – LUKLA and LUKLA – KTM. 

Lukla Flight from Manthali (Ramechhap) Airport.
Kathmandu Airport and the runways are shared by both domestic and international flights. Can be quite busy in the high tourism seasons, where Lukla flights will be in the peak time. To avoid the busy air traffic and landing on the runways can be a problem. The Lukla flight is operating from the nearest airport at Manthali town of Ramechap district. Approximately 145km or 90 miles driving distance of 4 -5 hours journey from Kathmandu. 

Manthali Airport in Ramechap district located in Nepal Mid-East, the drive leads on the new BP Highway. An interesting drive through the old town of Dhulikhel and then heading southeast to reach Manthali town and the airport.

The flight to Lukla is much shorter from Manthali airport about 20 to 25 minutes. During the peak season, we take our clients to Manthali airport driving from Kathmandu. Our driving journey starts at about 2 am from Kathmandu and reaching to Manthali at about 6:30 – 7:00 am and catch our flight to Lukla.

Alternatively, if clients have flexible time, drive to Manthali and stay overnight at Manthali. Next morning Catch a regular flight and start our Everest Base Camp Journey following the regular itinerary.

On the return journey the flight to Manthali airport from Lukla and continue drive to Kathmandu about 4 to 5 hours.

Type of Aircraft models for Lukla and other Mountainous region flights. 

Lukla Tenzing & Hillary Airport, and its short runways are located around mountainous zone of high hills. Where only small airplanes or STOL (Short Take Off and Landing) aircraft can land and take off. For mountainous Himalayan countries like Nepal with the world’s highest peaks, the airlines operate the following model of aircraft.

The Twin Otter, Dornier, L-410 Turbo-let, and Pilatus Turbo Porter are some of the aircraft flying to Lukla Airport. These smaller aircraft can carry 13 to 19 passengers at one time. Includes the main pilot and co-pilot with air hostess or steward, with rows of two and single seated.

Important before boarding the plane it allows limited weights as per the capacity, for each passenger on Lukla flight. 

The Best Season for Lukla Flight and other Mountainous regions of Nepal. 

The best seasons for mountainous destinations around Nepal Himalayas, especially for the flight to Lukla. Nearly all seasons of the year, except for summer/monsoon time of rainy months of mid-June to August. The best time to visit the Himalayan destinations and Everest region of Khumbu is spring, and autumn/fall seasons.

The flight to Lukla is busy during spring and autumn times, the weather is fine with crystal clear blue sky. Flying to Lukla from Kathmandu and vice-versa facing superb views of the Himalayan series of peaks.

Spring season begins from March to May, and most days are fine and clear, especially in the morning are the right time. Late afternoon can get overcast with heavy clouds sometimes for views of Himalayan peaks and not safe for flights.

The next busy season is autumn/fall starts from the post-monsoon of September to November. Most days are fine and clear for exciting views and flights to Lukla and back to Kathmandu. All flights to Lukla and other mountainous regions operate early morning from 6:30 a.m. till mid-afternoon. In the best seasons of the year as well as demands of passengers for Lukla flights and vice-versa. Sometimes on a clear day with less wind, the flight operates even till late afternoon to Lukla. 

Winter time of December to February is not the high or peak season but possible to fly. Although a low tourist season, Lukla flights are available, and most days are clear for the flight to Lukla. For interested trekkers, options of avoiding the peak, high seasons for treks around Khumbu. 

Can enjoy walking amidst less number of crowds during the mid-summer time of monsoon and the wet season. Although most days are not clear for the views, only a few flights operate, when the weather is clear.

Flight to Lukla from Kathmandu or Manthali Airport.
During the Peak season month of October and November in the Autumn season and Month of March to May in the Spring season Lukla flights operate from Manthali Airport. Other than Peak trekking season, Lukla flights Operate from Kathmandu airport.

In Case of delays and Cancelation flight to Lukla;
Due to the mountainous region of the high Himalayan range, the weather pattern can be quite unpredictable, even in the best seasons sometimes. Where flight to Lukla or on the way back can be delayed due to unfavorable bad weather conditions.

The company you have booked and the guide will do all possible efforts within their limits. Sometimes the flight can be postponed for the next day if it does prolong for longer times. The company will do its best to arrange other possible means to reach Lukla or back to Kathmandu. 

The rules, for a domestic flight in Nepal, are the passengers who were supposed to fly and get canceled. The names will be shifted back on the flight list, for the next day. From the previous first flight to the next 3rd or 4th flights as per the norms of airline companies. One got to be lucky getting on 1st flight by chance, to reach Lukla or on the way back.

Various reasons that can lead to flight delays and cancellations are as follows: 

01: Due to a small airstrip and runways and parking space only for 3-4 planes, it leads to the delay. Especially in high peak tourist seasons, hundreds of trekkers take the plane in and out of Lukla. Including trekking guides and local villagers, and only a few airlines fly to Lukla having 2-4 aircraft.

02:
The other reason is technical sides, for flying in mountainous regions, where planes should be well maintained. For flying above high hills and then landing on a short runway at Lukla airstrip. 

03: If the weather is unfavorable at Lukla or in Kathmandu as well en route takes time, which leads to delays. Waiting for the weather forecast from the station towers of Lukla or Kathmandu needs 60 % visibility. To land at both ends in Lukla or at Kathmandu for either landing or take-off.

04: The other main reason for getting delayed is due to air traffic in Kathmandu, with domestic and international flights. As the airport shares the same runways it leads to delays. By then the weather closes in en route as well to land at Lukla.

05: During the mid-autumn or fall season, of October and November Kathmandu Valley is covered in heavy mist. Which makes the difficult for planes to take off and land at Kathmandu airport runways. By the time mists lift in the late morning of 10 to 11 a.m. where Lukla weather breaks in. Due to major circumstances to fly on time, the alternative airport is Manthali Airport in Ramechap.

The ultimate option to fly in and out of Lukla is Helicopter Service:
In case of prolonged flight delay and cancellation which leads to postponement for next other days. For trekkers with limited time for treks around Khumbu and desperate to reach the destination and back to Kathmandu. The best option is taking a Helicopter service, either chartering for private groups, as well in sharing basis the cost.

The sharing basis for Helicopter flights is approx. US$ 600 per person for one way. The extra cost besides the whole trip itinerary price on booked with respective local or abroad companies.

Helicopter Flight Cost Kathmandu - Lukla USD 600 Per Person.
Helicopter Flight Cost Lukla - Kathmandu USD 600 per person. 
The above given Helicopter Cost details are sharing basis costs, to Operate flight Kathmandu to Lukla and Lukla to Kathmandu 5 Passengers are required. 

A small and spacious seated helicopter with a capacity of 5 passengers at one time. Depending on the weather, for flights to Lukla or on the way back to Kathmandu from Lukla airport. The total flight duration on a chopper is 40-50 minutes from Kathmandu to Lukla or vice-versa.

Please be wise on flying in and out of Lukla:
When booking a trek or any other adventure destination around the high Khumbu of Everest region. Make sure the itinerary days have flexible and spare or contingency days in Kathmandu. Which should be before trek departures and after the treks, in case of flight delay and cancellation.

Hope the above information provided by Visit Himalaya Treks will be a great help to plan a great adventure holiday, around the high Khumbu and Everest region.

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