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Lukla Flights Fly From Ramechhap

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Lukla Flights Fly From Ramechhap – What You Need To Know?

In September, Nepal’s civil aviation regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) decided that Kathmandu Airport (Tribhuvan International Airport) will stop operating flights to Lukla airport – the airport that all trekkers use to get to the Everest region.

Kathmandu’s airport is an international airport with lots of traffic. During the trekking seasons there can be up to 30 flights flying just between Lukla and Kathmandu each day. Due to the weather conditions in and around Lukla this causes huge scheduling problems when flights are often delayed taking off from Lukla, or even turned around as planes are unable to land at Lukla airport.

From October 1st 2022 all flights to Luka will now operate from Manthali airport in Ramechhap. Ramechapp is 130 km away from Kathmanu and involves a windy bus journey.

This diversion will affect all trekkers regardless of which tour company you have booked with. It is going to be an inconvenience for everyone, but does not change the duration of the trek.

Many operators leave Kathmandu early in the morning (around 1am or 2am) and begin the drive to Manthali airport which takes around 4-5 hours. This gets passengers into Ramechhap ready for the first flights in the morning.

As an operator we have decided to amend our itineraries and leave mid afternoon the day before. We are then able to complete the drive in daylight and arrive in Ramechhap, spend the evening and get a good night’s sleep before you start trekking the next morning.

Ramechhap is growing due to its now increased traffic of trekkers coming through. But there are still limited options for accommodation in Ramechhap. If you want to stay in Ramechhap the night before your flight make sure you are booking early and not leaving it until you arrive to find a bed for the night. This is also causing problems with delayed flights and then people not having anywhere to stay for the night before they try to fly again the following day. If you are traveling in a group you will likely have priority on the following morning’s first flights.

Lukla Airport, EBC trek

Why Is Ramechhap The Best Option For Flights?

Ramechapp is only a 12 min flight to Lukla compared to the 35 min flight from Kathmandu. This means when there are good weather windows there are more options to get more planes turned around quicker.

Even if the weather is good in Lukla, planes can be delayed in Kathmandu due to other planes having priority. The weather then changes in Lukla, and then your flight from Kathmandu is canceled. 

Ramechhap is the better option for increasing your chances of getting to Lukla, we just have to deal with the added challenge of getting there!

What if my flights are canceled from Ramechhap?

If all flights are canceled from Ramechhap you will need to stay the night in Ramechhap. It is possible to return to Kathmandu but you will just have to repeat the journey the following day to try and catch your next flight.

If fixed wing flights are still not flying it is possible to get a helicopter from Ramechhap to Lukla. The cost is around $500 (single trip) – you will receive a $150 refund from your one single flight. 

Are Flights still flying from Kathmandu?

Occasionally flights will still go to Kathmandu. This is generally the last flight of the day when planes need to head back to Kathmandu to either change crews or for maintenance. There is no guarantee though that your flight will go back to Kathmandu. Also the last flights of the day are generally the ones that are going to be canceled due to bad weather so I wouldn’t advise booking the last flight on the off chance it is going back to Kathmandu.

Lukla flight

Can you get a helicopter from Kathmandu to Lukla?

Helicopters are still flying from Kathmandu without any problems. If you don’t want to go to Ramechhap, you do have the option of booking a helicopter for the journey.

How Much is Helicopter from Kathmandu to Lukla?

If you want to take a helicopter then the cost is around $2500-$3000 depending on demand. A helicopter will take a maximum of 5 passengers. The journey is around 50 minutes.

 

How Long Will Flights Continue To Fly From Ramechapp?

This closure has been in place temporarily since 2019, but was made permanent in 2022. This will be around for the next few seasons at least.

After speaking with people in Nepal the thought now is this diversion will stay in place until a proper solution can be found to manage the busy conditions at Kathmandu International airport. 

We also have a blog post – Flying to Lukla Airport – What Do You Need To Know? – Click the link to have a read of that one as well.

If you want any information on our Nepal Treks please click the link.

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