Civil Aviation Association of Nepal (CAAN) has chosen to use Ramechhap (Manthali) Airport instead of Tribhuvan Airport to fly to and from Lukla until further notice. CAAN has announced that this change has taken place due to congestion at the Kathmandu Airport. As Lukla is one of the busiest domestic airports in Nepal, relocating the flights helps decrease the air traffic congestion. Now, all flights to and from Lukla are operating from Manthali Airport in Ramechhap.
Manthali Airport is about 137 kilometers from Kathmandu – reachable within 4-5 hours. Please note that all our Everest region treks are now routed from Manthali to Lukla and Lukla to Manthali. The flight to Lukla leaves early in the morning from the airport, which means the the car leaves around 2:00-3:00 am from Kathmandu. Most of our packages include at least one full day before the trek to get ready and recover from the flight. Because the car leaves so early for the airport on the third day, it is recommended to arrive in Kathmandu even a day earlier to fully adjust.
There is another option for reaching Lukla if you prefer not to fly through Manathali. The other option is taking a helicopter. This option is costly, but is quicker and more exciting. It costs about $3000 USD each way, and the helicopter can hold 5 people. Let us know with as much time in advance as possible and we can arrange the helicopter for you.
What happens if the flight delayed or canceled in Kathmandu or in Lukla on Everest base camp trek?
The twin otter airplanes are the only modes of transport to and from Lukla when you go for Everest base camp trek. Occasionally, flights to and from Lukla may be cancelled due to unpredictable mountain weather conditions. We have kept one extra free day at the end of the trek to use in the case of a flight delay or cancellation.
If the flights are cancelled for 2 or more days, we charter a helicopter flight to ensure that you are on scheduled flight to your home or other destination. The cost of this extra service is payable directly to our office in Kathmandu in US cash, or credit cards (Visa Cards, Master Cards only).
A receipt of payment will be provided from which you can claim from your insurance. The minimum cost will be US$500 and maximum US$3500 depending on the number of people.
We also advise you extra more days at the end of the trek if possible so, we can try next days to fly to Lukla and if seems not to be flight for few days then we offer you alternative treks that does not required flights such as Annapurna base camp trek or Langtang circuit trek.