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Lukla Airport- the gateway to Mt Everest

Home » Getting Around Nepal » Lukla Airport- the gateway to Mt Everest

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Lukla Airport on Google Map

Flying into Lukla Airport is an experience unlike any other. It’s situated at 2800 metres and encircled by some of the most spectacular mountain scenery. However, getting there is half the fun, as the approach involves a dramatic descent through narrow canyons and between towering peaks. Once you land, you’ll feel like you’re on the highest point of the planet!

News update about Lukla’s Flight from Kathmandu

No Direct flight from Kathmandu to Lukla

Starting from April 1, 2023, and by the end of May 2023, there are no direct flights from Kathmandu to Lukla. Instead, the airlines operate flights from Ramechhap, known as the Manthali Airport – 133 km east of Kathmandu, and takes about 4 hour’s drive.

What is the airfare from Ramechhap to Lukla, and how to book the flight?

It’s USD 158 per person (one way), and to book the flights, contact at +9779851068290 (WhatsApp) or email – sales@nepalhiking.com. And for road transportation from Kathmandu to Manthali Airport, Ramechhap costs USD 30-40 per person, sharing a vehicle. 

Alternatively, you can also take a helicopter ride from Kathmandu to Lukla, which costs USD 450 per person, sharing with a group.

New Update: 14 March, 2024
Direct daily flights have been resumed this spring season from Kathmandu to Lukla Airport or vice versa.
Latest Update: 10 April, 2024
The airlines have halted direct flights from Kathmandu to Lukla or vice versa. Until further notice, flights can be taken from Ramechhap to Lukla or vice versa!

Can the flights be booked online?
As of now, you can’t book the flights online. Contact +9779851068290 (WhatsApp) to check availability and cost; pay them online after confirmation of the flight availability and get a ticket within 24 hours of your payment.

Flight to Lukla from Manthali Airport, Ramechhap

Manthali Airport in Ramechhap is often an alternative to the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu for flights to Tenzing-Hillary Airport in Lukla, especially during peak trekking seasons. This is because of Kathmandu airport congestion and the rerouting of Lukla flights to Ramechhap.

Flights from Manthali Airport (Ramechhap) to Lukla (Tenzing-Hillary Airport):

  1. Duration: The flight duration is usually about 20 to 30 minutes.
  2. Airlines: Several domestic airlines operate this route, including:
    1. Tara Air
    2. Summit Air
    3. Sita Air
    4. Nepal Airlines (sometimes)
  1. Frequency: During the peak trekking seasons (spring and autumn), multiple flights daily leave Ramechhap for Lukla, starting in the early morning and ending at midday if the weather conditions are favourable.
  2. Check-in: Arriving at Manthali Airport at least 1.5 to 2 hours before your scheduled flight time is advisable.
  3. Baggage Limit: The baggage allowance is typically limited, often around 10kg for checked luggage and 5kg for hand luggage. However, checking with your specific airline is always a good idea.
  4. Weather Delays: Flights to Lukla are heavily dependent on weather conditions. Delays and cancellations are not uncommon, given the weather changes in the mountain region. It’s recommended to have a flexible itinerary when planning treks in the Everest region.
  5. Booking: If travelling during peak season, booking your flights in advance is highly recommended due to the high demand.
  6. Transport to Manthali Airport: If you’re coming from Kathmandu, arrange transportation to Manthali Airport, as it’s a 4-6 hour drive. Some trekking agencies or airlines offer transportation services, but confirming in advance is essential.

Lastly, flying to Lukla is a unique experience. Tenzing-Hillary Airport is considered one of the most challenging airports in the world due to its short runway and mountainous location. Enjoy the breathtaking views during the flight, whether starting a trek or just exploring! Safe travels!

Kathmandu to Ramechhap Distance

The distance between Kathmandu and Ramechhap (specifically Manthali, where Ramechhap’s Manthali Airport is located) is approximately 140 kilometres (87 miles) by road. However, the travel distance might vary slightly depending on the specific route.

The drive usually takes around 4-6 hours, depending on road conditions, traffic, and the type of vehicle. The roads in Nepal can be winding, especially in hilly areas, which can extend travel time even for relatively short distances.

If you’re planning the journey, it’s a good idea to check current road conditions or consult with locals or travel agencies, as road situations in Nepal can change, especially during monsoon seasons when there’s a higher risk of landslides.

History of Lukla Airport

Lukla Airport was built in 1964, and later, in 2008, the Nepal Government officially decided to give the name Tenjing-Hillary Airport after Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa. They were the first climbers to summit Mount Everest on May 29, 1953, at the universe’s top. And the reason behind this was obviously to honour them as the first climbers. At the time of their Everest Expedition, the Lukla, where the airport now exists, was originally used as a base camp for mountaineers attempting to climb Mt. Everest.

Where is the Lukla Airport Located

As stated above, the official name of the Airport is Tenjing-Hillary Airport, commonly known as the Lukla Airport, which is geographically located in Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality, Lukla, Solukhumbu District. The Lukla airport is the only airport gateway for a visit to Everest Base Camp and the summit of the world’s highest mountain.

Geographical Features

The Airport is at an elevation of 2,804m. It is on a small plateau at the end of a valley with mountains on both sides. It’s a tiny airport with a single runway, which is about 527 m long and 20m wide with a slope of 12 degrees from north to south. Despite this, the Airport sees over 50 daily flights during peak season, as Lukla Airport is the only gateway to the Everest Base Camp.

Lukla Airport
Lukla Airport (Tenjing-Hillary Airport)

What makes Lukla Airport unique?

Lukla Airport is one of the unique airports in the world. It is located in the Himalayan region of Nepal, the gateway to Mount Everest, as stated above.

Despite the challenges, Lukla Airport is a vital lifeline for the people living in Khumbu in the trans-Himalayan region. It allows them to bring supplies and tourists essential for local economic development.

What makes Lukla Airport even more unique is its location. It is nestled between mountains, with a sheer drop-off at one end of the runway. As a result, it’s quite a challenging airport for landing, even for the most experienced pilots. In the past, travellers considered the Airport “the most unsafe airport in the world”. However, the past has passed; many things have changed in the safety measures of the Airport.

Why is Lukla Airport now considered safe for flying?

The Airport has been undergoing renovations since 2013. The most recent renovation was in 2016 and included constructing a new terminal building, a new control tower, a black top-up on the runway, and managing the lighting system on the runway. Thus, the recent improvements have made the Airport much safer for flights. As an output, the number of visitors to the Khumbu region for the Everest trek has increased. Consequently, this has positively impacted the local economy, an outcome of community development.

Nepal is safe after Covid 19

The country had made rigorous efforts to prevent the spread of the virus, including closing its borders and suspending all international and domestic flights, including the Lukla Airport. Now, Nepal has been Covid-19 free. As a result, the country has been declared COVID-19-free by the World Health Organization. 

Nepal’s tourism industry has been hit hard by the pandemic, with many hotels and restaurants closing their doors. However, after Covid-19 was free, the country is now open for business and is attracting tourists back to its stunning mountains and valleys. Lukla Airport was also closed for three months because of the pandemic. However, it reopened and is now fully operational.


Lukla Airport is one of the most beautiful places in Nepal. It is situated in the mountains and surrounded by forests. The scenery around the Airport is breathtaking. The mountains are very tall, and there are many forest areas. The Airport is ideal for getting away from city life’s hustle and bustle and starting your adventure for hiking or climbing. Lukla Airport is the perfect destination if you want a place to relax and enjoy nature.


Despite the dangers, Lukla Airport is very popular with tourists who want to trek to Mount Everest Base Camp or visit other parts of the Nepalese Himalayas. The Airport has become known for its friendly hospitality; many staff members are fluent in English. The Airport has a restaurant and several souvenir shops. Most airlines that service the Airport have their lounge for business class passengers, serving meals on proper china with formal silverware and tablecloths. The lounge also offers free wifi, newspapers, magazines, and board games.

Correlations between Lukla Weather and the Flights

In addition to the challenging terrain, the weather in Lukla can also be very unpredictable. The Airport is 2,800m above sea level around mountains. Because of its location and elevation, the Airport is subject to weather that can affect flights because of strong winds and low visibility. These conditions can make it impossible for planes to land or take off. However, Lukla Airport operates more than 50 daily flights during pleasant weather.

How Lukla Weather Affects Flights

Authorities often close Lukla Airport during pre- and post-monsoon due to heavy snowfall and high winds. For instance, in early October 2022, bad weather forced the airport to shut down for almost a week. This closure disrupted many travellers attempting to reach Mount Everest’s base camp.

Alternative routes to get to Lukla

In addition to flight, there are other alternative options to get to Lukla, such as a flight from Kathmandu to Phaplu airport, just below the valley of Lukla, but it takes 2 – 3 more days to arrive in Lukla. As a result, travellers will need to extend their holiday in the Everest region. Similarly, another alternative option is to start your trek from Jiri after 1 day-long drive from Kathmandu. The trek starting from Jiri is well-known as the Legendary Classic Everest Base Camp Trek because the route was used by Sir Edmund Hillary and his team at the time of their expedition to the highest mountain in the world.

Some of the Best Sources for Lukla Weather Right Now

Lukla Airport is one of the most engaged and busiest airports in Nepal. It is well-known as the most dangerous Airport in the past, but it’s safer now, as stated above. Unfortunately, no roads lead to Lukla, so all travellers must take a flight to get there. 

The weather in Lukla can be very unpredictable, and it is important to know the current conditions before flying into the Airport. Thus, here are some of the most acceptable sources for Lukla weather updates:

1. The Nepal Meteorological Department is Nepal’s official weather information source. The website provides hourly updates on the weather in Lukla.

2. AccuWeather is a global leader in weather information and forecasting.


In conclusion, Lukla Airport is an amazing place that is full of adventure. It is a great place to visit if you want to go hiking or camping. There are many fresh trails to explore, and the scenery is breathtaking. So, if you are looking for an adventure, Lukla Airport is the perfect place to start your journey.

Nepal and Lukla Airport are safe. Carefully arrange your trip with a trusted tour company, NepalHiking.com, which has a 99.9% success rate.

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