Updated – March 20th 2023:
Lukla Flight Information || Lukla flight via Ramechhap
Lukla flights will be operated from Ramechhap (Manthali) Airport during Spring (March 16 to May 31, 2023) and Autumn (September 1 to November 30) to avoid congestion at Kathmandu Airport. 2023).
All STOL flights to and from Lukla can be operated from Ramechhap Airport during the peak season (April-May and September to November), making Ramechhap the base for all flights to Lukla. This change has been made in the flight basis of Lukla flights to ensure smooth flight operations without any air traffic and delays.
Ramechhap Airport is located 130 km east of Kathmandu and takes a 4-hour drive to reach. If you want to operate a flight from Ramechhap airport, you have to wake up at 2 in the morning, reach Ramechhap airport in 4 hours and board the flight to Lukla. However, the flight time from Ramechhap Airport to Lukla is only 12 minutes.
In this case, you need 1 buffer day to manage all transfers from Manthali airport (or we adjust program on day 2 that you will visit guided site in Kathmandu and transfer to Mulkot, afternoon). . We would suggest you drive to Mulkot, 3 hours away from Kathmandu and spend the night at a hotel, then the next morning an hour’s drive brings you to Manthali Airport to catch your flight to Lukla. On your return, you can fly to Manthali Airport and return to Kathmandu on the same day. Lukla-Ramechhap flight time from Ramechhap airport is only 12 minutes.
Very important information for domestic flights to and from Lukla
Everest trek includes Kathmandu to Lukla flight i.e. Manthali to Lukla flight. When the weather in Lukla is bad, there are no flights at that time. So, in this case, the flights may be delayed or cancelled. You should be ready for that. This is not always the case but sometimes it can be depending on weather conditions. The weather in Lukla is unpredictable, therefore. We suggest you add a few days to the trek in case the flight is delayed or cancelled. If you have a tight schedule, managing your return flight will be difficult. So we recommend you to keep 1 to 2 days more. If the flight is not available for 2 days, we will divert you to Annapurna Base Camp Trek and Kathmandu to Pokhara flight.
What about the helicopter in Lukla?
Helicopter are a bit more flexible in their approach to Lukla, and often the weather can make visibility very poor for flying or small aircraft. Sometimes it is possible to transfer your flight plan to a helicopter, although this can be expensive and there is no guarantee of departure on schedule. If you decide to take this route, we will help you make arrangements with the helicopter company and refund you the cost of your plane ticket upon your return to Kathmandu. We work very closely with both airlines and helicopter companies to ensure our guests are able to have the most efficient journey possible.
What is the price of Lukla helicopter?
If you opt for a helicopter you can expect to pay $400 to $500 extra per person. Helicopter rates vary as a rule and increase as demand increases. This means that helicopters will be most expensive when everyone needs one and flights are normally running cheaply on nice sunny days. The fares offered by our team in Kathmandu do not always match the prices offered locally in the mountains. It is also worth asking at the local office in Lukla if you are waiting for a return flight to Kathmandu. Extra seats on a flight are basically a wasted asset, so prices are always changing because they’re trying to fill every seat on every flight.
What are the options to return to Kathmandu when the Lukla flight is cancelled?
The best option is to plan more days in your trip and wait for clear weather, but if you are stuck in Lukla you will also look for alternatives.
Trekking from Jiri: If you want to avoid flying to Lukla, you can reach Everest base camp via Jiri. This route was originally used by Sir Edmund Hillary’s campaign, and was the only route until he oversaw the construction of the airport in 1964. This route involves a long bus ride from Kathmandu and adds about 5 days of uneventful trekking to the journey. While trekking through the rural and mountain villages of Nepal.
Trek to Salleri: A two-day hike from Lukla to Salleri from where you can take a jeep to Kathmandu, a 9 to 10-hour journey on unpaved roads.
Helicopter to Phaplu: If helicopter availability is limited then they may only be available to shuttle guests to Phaplu, the lower airstrip in the valley near Salleri. Jeep can be arranged from Phaplu to Kathmandu. Be prepared for a 9 to 10 hour journey on unpaved roads. If you have extra time in Nepal you might be better off waiting an extra day for the weather to clear in Lukla.
Surke by helicopter: Surke is a small village under Lukla where sometimes helicopters land because of good visibility. It is about an hour’s walk from Surke to Lukla.
Will travel insurance cover Lukla flight delay?
Some policies will cover “travel disruption” that results from a rescheduled or canceled flight and reimburse you for missed international connections or additional travel expenses. AlpineTrav Treks & Expeditions can provide the necessary documents for your insurance company if you need to make a claim. We recommend that you call your insurance company to see what they cover before you arrive in Nepal.