Understanding Flights from Kathmandu to Lukla: Why Departure from Ramechhap is Recommended

  • Apr 2, 2024
  • Karna Rana

All the flights from Kathmandu to Lukla Kathmandu going to be changing again, and all the flights to Lukla conducted from Manthali Airport at Ramechhap from March 15th, 2024 for one month, due to Air traffic in the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) at Kathmandu.

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After conducting a Flight From Ramechhap to Lukla, the result shows that flying from the Manthali airport to Lukla is a better option than Kathmandu, to avoid the air traffic at ITA airport, which often causes delays the flight from one hour to two hours and later the weather of Lukla not permitted to fly. Lukla is the gateway to Mt. Everest “Top of the World 8,848m” That’s why many trekkers (about 400 people every day during peak season) all over the world visit the Everest Base Camp Trek, Everest Short trek, Everest 3 Passes Trek, Gokyo Lakes Trek, Gokyo Chola Pass Trek, Everest Expeditions and other expedition and trekking. Fly to Lukla is the most popular destination for trekkers in the Khumbu region.

According to the TIA, domestic airline companies have been conducting almost fifty flights to Lukla every day during the high trekking season. So, the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) requested that all airlines operate more Lukla flights from Ramechhap airport in the Autumn 2019 trekking season. However, it is not comfortable for the trekkers to fly from the Ramechhap due to a lack of basic fundamentals of tourism and quite a long distance from Kathmandu.  All the trekking and travel entrepreneurs have been raising their voices to keep on the Lukla flight from Kathmandu after client feedback and our own experience. We hope the Government of Nepal will consider the public voice and carry on the Lukla flight from Kathmandu afterward entirely operated by the other international airports (Pokhara Regional International Airport at Pokhara and Gautam Buddha Airport at Bhairahawa)

Here are some most important questions regarding Manthali Airport and the Flight From Ramechhap to Lukla.

Q. Why Change Lukla Flight from Ramechhap?

This is mostly concerned with questions, Why Fly to Lukla from Ramechhap? Nepal has only one international airport in the capital city of Kathmandu so far (Pokhara International Airport and Gautam Buddha International Airport at Bhairawa are almost ready for conducting, and Nijgadh International Airport is under construction). There are more than 50 flights conducted only in Lukla during trekking peak season, meanwhile, several domestic flights in various sectors and as well as international flights also operate from TIA. So, the flight becomes delayed almost a couple of hours due to air traffic, afterward, the weather Lukla is not permitted to fly. As a result, your plan will be affected by the flight. But if you are flying from the Manthali Airport at Ramechhap, there won’t be any air traffic, and can fly to Lukla at any time without interruption. Ramechhap to Lukla is just 20 minutes of scenic flight by Dornier small aircraft. To fly on time it is recommended to fly to Lukla from Manathali Airport.

About Manthali Airport

Manthali is located 132km northeast of Kathmandu, in the headquarters of the Ramechhap District. The Airport is situated 474 meters above sea level in the Tamakoshi River Valley. It was established in October 1979 to link the Ramechhap stream of development to Kathmandu and was renovated and upgraded to a concrete runway of 518 meters in length in 2015.

Q. How can we get to the Manthali Airport for the Lukla flight?

As all the flights to Lukla have been conducted from Kathmandu in the previous times, so you are wondering why don’t fly from Kathmandu airport to Lukla direct. And how far is Ramechhap Airport from Kathmandu? Well, Manthali Airport lies in Ramechhap District, 132 km northeast of Kathmandu, taking  4 to 5 hours to drive by public bus or private vehicles.

Q. Do we need to stay overnight at Manthali before flying to Lukla?

This is the most important question, it depends on your flight time. If your flight is before 7:00 O’clock in the morning, then you need to get to Manthali a day ahead, then your flight, and for the later flight, you can drive on the same day from Kathmandu. As Manthali Airport is 132 km from Kathmandu, and it takes four to five hours to get in, you need to drive super early in the morning at 3:00 AM from Kathmandu. It depends on your choice also, to drive such as early in the morning is not fun, but there is not any other option besides the drive to fly Lukla.

Q. Are there lodges and Guest Houses available at Manthali?

Manthali is the headquarters of the Ramechhap district, so there are basic lodges and Guesthouses in a few numbers, focusing on official and administrative activities. But you can’t expect much more facilities and services such as cities and hotels in the Everest area. Therefore, during the trekking peak season (March, April, May, September, October, and November) is it very difficult to find accommodation due to the number of trekkers who come to Ramechhap for the Lukla flight. So, there are buses or vehicle services available from Kathmandu to Ramechhap to catch your same-day Lukla flight.

Q. Is the Flight From Ramechhap to Lukla guaranteed after a 4 to 5-hour drive to the Manthali Airport from Kathmandu?

Well, we are sure you are choosing Everest Trek after a lot of research, and feedback, and coming here is one of the best times. We at Nepal Mother House do everything for the best result. After a 4 to 5-hour drive such as early in the morning, you are curious about whether the Lukla flight is conducted on time or not. Normally, it is a 99 percent guarantee to fly to Lukla from Ramechhap, except in some exceptional cases. It depends on the following day’s weather conditions also, sometimes the weather in the Highlander especially at Lukla changes unexpectedly. If in case the weather does not permit flying, there is no nothing other than to be patient and wait for a flight or change the trekking destination. We manage everything from our side properly, except beyond our hands (weather, technical, etc.). Let's think positively everything will come in our favor.

Q. What are the possibilities to go Lukla, if in case can't fly from Ramechhap?

Let's hope you have a wonderful flight in good weather. The Lukla flight from Manthali Airport has more chances compared to the other airports in the mountain. If in case, the flight is delayed or canceled due to fog, high wind, and rainy weather, then contact your travel agent about the flight and you may also check the reliable weather forecast, and what they are saying about Lukla weather. Sometimes, the weather is poor and not good visibility, and need to wait one day to a week or more. In this situation make a smart decision, either wait for a flight or alternative access to Lukla.

Sometimes, there is a chance to fly to Lukla by helicopter. If the weather does not permit Lukla's flight by Helicopter then you have the ultimate option to drive Manthali Airport Ramechha to Thamdanda ( below the Lukla), there are transport services available from Kathmandu/Ramechhap to Salleri and Thamdanda. If you need any help, we are here ready to assist you, You may contact us at +977-9841368753 on WhatsApp and Mobile.

Most popular trek in the Everest Region:

  1. Everest Base Camp Trek -14 Days
  2. Everest Base Camp Trek and Fly Back Helicopter -9 Days
  3. Everest 3 Passes Trek -21 Days
  4. Everest Base Camp Trek -8 Days
  5. Gokyo Chola Pass Trek -19 Days

Go Through the Video for Amazing Lukla Flight:

Q. How long does take Manthali to Lukla flight?

It takes 20 to 25 minutes by airplane from Manathali Airport to Lukla crossing 73.4 kilometers crow fly distance. Ramechhap to Lukla is a scenic flight by Dornier 19-seater aircraft. It is best to choose the left-hand side seat for the amazing view.

Q. What is the luggage allowance for the Lukla flight?

Regarding the flight weight while flying to Lukla; the Weight limit: is 10 kg of main baggage and 5 kg of hand per passenger on each flight. This is the same rule for any other mountain sector flight as well as flying by Dornier 19-seater aircraft. If you have more than this weight, they will charge USD 1 to 3 per kilogram as an additional.

Q. Do I need to print my air ticket for Ramechhap to Lukla Flight?

Nowadays you can get air tickets as e-tickets, normally you don’t need to print them out. Simply, you can keep it on your mobile or tablet via email or any media app. Nevertheless, make sure Batter downloads the tickets if there is no internet access and battery issue while on the spot. We at Nepal Mother House provide you with a copy of the Air tickets before the start trek as well.

Q. How early should I check in at the Airport to catch my Lukla Flights From Ramechhap?

It is advised to get to the airport at least one hour before your flight time for every domestic flight. So, please be ready and drive from your hotel accordingly.

Q. Do I need to manage transport to Manthali Airport on my own? If so how much does it cost?

If you sign up for a trekking program with Nepal Mother House Trek, then you don’t need to hassle with transport, we will organize all transportation to Manthali and return to Kathmandu after the trek and will provide a public bus or jeep.
There are daily transport services available.

  • Tourist Buses Depart from 2:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m. - NPR. 900 to 1,500 per person for one way. To avoid the hassle of staying overnight in Manthali, driving early in the morning is best.
  • Hire a Car/ Jeep/ Hiace/ Coaster depending on your group size and requirements (to hire a private will be an additional cost for clients). The cost of the car, Landcruiser/ Jeep/ Scorpio, Microbus/ Hiace bus, and Coster with AC will be US$ 110-130, US$ 150-170, US$ 160-170, and US$ 195-250 respectively for one way.
  • If you are staying overnight in Manthali, you have an option:
  • Get a cab to Koteshwor from your hotel. Catch a local bus or regular jeep from Koteshwor Bus Station to Manthali. The vehicles depart in the morning from 6:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. every day.

Q. What would happen, if I had already booked Kathmandu to Lukla flight, but changed all the flights from Manthali?

If you have already booked flights from Kathmandu to Lukla and changed Lukla flights from Ramechhap, in this situation you don’t need to do anything, we provide Lukla flights from Ramechhap at the same cost and public /Sharing transportation from Kathmandu to Ramewchhap. If you wish for a much more comfortable drive, then you may hire a private car, jeep, or van according to your requirements and group size, as an additional cost.

Q. Is it safe to fly from Ramechhap to Lukla?

Sure, Manthali airport is full of basic fundamentals whatever is needed for the airport. So, it is safe to fly from Ramechhap to Lukla and back to Ramechhap.

Q. Is there any option to get in Lukla?

If you are looking for a comfortable Trek to Everest Base Camp, a hassle-free drive to Manthali in the early morning, then you have the option to fly from Kathmandu to Lukla by helicopter. But the cost is quite high, for this, you need to pay USD 500 to 800 an additional payment per person for one way. There will be 5 passengers in a craft.

Likewise, if you are thinking do getting to Lukla without a flight then Everest Base Camp Trek by Road is the best way for the trip. There are Jeeps available from Kathmandu to Thamdanda every morning from Chahabil Chok. Drive to Lukla by Jeep makes the cost of your EBC trek and more experience of Nepal while driving through. The road from Kathmandu to Salleri/Phaplu is blacktopped, and it takes 8 to 9 hours to drive afterward to the Thamdanda, it is a rough road. So, if you are not feeling comfortable on a rough road then, you can start the Everest Base Camp Trek from Salleri also. 

If you require any more information regarding Lukla flights rerouted to Ramechhap and  Everest Trek, please feel free to contact Nepal Mother House Treks. We are here for your assistance.

Q. Is there any alternative access to the Lukla in an economical way? 

Yes, nowadays the road also accesses nearby Lukla. Every morning, the sharing Jeep drives to Thamdanda, which is a 4 to 5-hour walking distance below the Lukla. As you are in Nepal for an adventure test, the drive off-road after the Salleri is also kind of is thrilling Journey. In good weather, it takes a full day to drive from dawn to dusk. So, if you have enough time, it is better to drive Kathmandu to Lukla by Jeep and continue to the Everest Base Camp Trek. 

**Note: The Kathmandu to Lukla flight has diverted to Ramechhap on March 15th, 2024 for one month. 

Karna Rana

Karna Rana


I hearty welcome to Nepal, known as the Kingdom of Himalayans, and the roof of the World “Mt. Everest.” Nepal has been named a Heaven on Earth and is a wonder in the Himalayan. It is the Shangri-La, a cultural Museum, the Birthplace of the Lord Buddha, and the country of the living Goddess “Kumari.”

I am Karna Rana Trekking Tour Operator and Mountain Guide, specializing in Trekking, Tour, Travel in Nepal, Hiking in the Himalayan and other Outdoor Activities, Peak Climbing, Expedition, Adventure Trekking, Rafting, etc. applying for my field expiring in 2000. Meanwhile, I have completed my Master’s degree in Rural Development (2016) from the Tribhuvan University of Kathmandu, Nepal’s leading educational institution. I have been applying my field experience in tourism, especially in remote areas of the country, for sustainable eco-tourism for local empowerment. I enjoyed writing my blog own word sharing my travel experience in the Himalayan, aiming to provide the right information and help to the Nepal Traveler.

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