Lukla update: Flight changes when heading to the Everest region

Flights between Kathmandu and Lukla have been suspended for international travellers, but fear not, we have you covered on how to get to Lukla with ease.

To reach Lukla, the gateway to the Everest trekking region, flights are now departing from and arriving at Ramechap airport, rather than Kathmandu airport. The new routing, which was introduced to reduce congestion at Kathmandu airport, is again in place from 16 March to 15 May 2020. The aviation authority have yet to determine arrangements from September to December 2020.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal issued the following statement:

Due to increment in traffic congestion at TIA (Tribhuvan International Airport) and increasing number of Lukla flights from TIA, an arrangement was made to operate all Lukla flights from Ramechap airport in this summer season which was accomplished successfully.

During tourist season, Lukla is the busiest airport among STOL airfields operated from Kathmandu. Therefore, to avoid traffic congestion and minimize the load of TIA and to ease other international operation from TlA, all airlines operating in Lukla sector are required to operate from Ramechap airport henceforth you are required to manage all formalities in this regard.

Who is affected?

This change affects all travel companies operating tours in Nepal, and we assure you we have explored a range of alternatives, including utilizing helicopters, which has been discounted due to exorbitant costs and availability limitations.

While there is one operational flight from Kathmandu to Lukla each day, it is reserved for Nepali locals, and airlines are restricted from selling tickets to agents or to individuals who are not Nepali citizens.

It’s not all bad news

Some operators have varied their itineraries to have clients depart Kathmandu by vehicle at 2am, to reach Ramechap in time for the first morning flights to Lukla. World Expeditions has rejected this option because it makes for a very long first day of trekking. Instead, we are taking trekkers to Ramechap for an overnight stay in our comfortable and conveniently located campsite in order to take the first morning flights to Lukla.

Ramechap tent set-up |  <i>Angela Parajo</i>

Although there are afternoon flights to Lukla from Ramechap, these are unreliable because there is a higher chance of these flights being cancelled due to weather conditions.

We have revised our Everest itineraries in the wake of these circumstances.

Our modified itinerary:

Day 1 – Arrival in Kathmandu. Free day.

Day 2 – Overland drive to Ramechap (approximately 5 hours). You can do some last-minute gear shopping or enjoy some leisure time in the morning at Kathmandu after breakfast before we hit the road. En route we will stop for lunch and arrive at our campsite by late afternoon.

Our private Ramechap campsite is equipped with up to 30 tents, dining tents and bathroom facilities with Western-style toilets and hand basins. Our trekkers enjoy full-board camping with a hearty, three-course evening meal cooked by our trained team at the campsite, with tea and breakfast the following day.

Ramechap campsite |  <i>Angela Parajo</i> DSC_0090 DSC_0087 DSC_0092 DSC_0086

Day 3 – Early morning flight to Lukla (2800m). Our campsite is directly opposite the runway, so you’ll have first flights to Lukla! You will then commence your trek to Ghat (2530m), the walk being approximately 2-3 hours.

World Expeditions believes the option of staying in Ramechap is vastly better than departing Kathmandu at 2am, driving approximately 5 hours to Ramechap, flying to Lukla and then commencing trekking.

Getting a reasonable night’s sleep and being able to travel on the earliest flights from Ramechap provides the best start to the trekking day.

At the end of your trek, you will fly from Lukla to Ramechap and drive directly to Kathmandu on the same day. The rest of the afternoon will be at your leisure, offering an opportunity to do any additional sightseeing and shopping.

Updated 17 February 2020.

Adventure news, Lukla, flights, nepal, ramechap, everest region, kathmandu, airport

Comment (0)

Your comment will be visible after the administrator's approval.

b i u quote

Save Comment
Join Newsletter
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ADS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Adventures South"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Adventure South</div>
Adventure South NZ is unrivalled in their geographic coverage, originality and overall quality of adventures holidays in New Zealand. Choose from walking, cycling, winter or multi-activity holidays, on either the North or South Island.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/AWH.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Walking Holidays"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Walking Holidays</div>
Australian Walking Holidays specialises in small group guided walking adventures. Since 1982 we have been guiding small groups of travellers on Australia's finest walks across our tropical, coastal or red centre landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GCT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Canadian Trails"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Canadian Trails</div>
Great Canadian Trails specialises in active holidays in Canada. With both guided and supported self-guided options available, our unique itineraries draw upon some of Canada's most inspiring parks, trails and landscapes from coast to coast.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/HUM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Humac Challenge"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Huma Charity Challenge</div>
Huma enables those with adventurous spirits to challenge themselves and make a difference for a cause close to their heart. Travel, fundraise and meet life-long friends on one of Huma's meaningful and unique challenges around the world.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TAS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Tasmania Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Tasmanian Expeditions</div>
Tasmanian Expeditions is the most experienced operator of treks and adventure travel holidays in Tasmania. We own and operate the most comprehensive range of adventure holidays available across Tasmania's varied landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/UTX-new.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Utracks"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>UTracks</div>
UTracks are the active European holiday specialists. Whether you prefer cycling or walking, 2-star or 4-star, small groups or self guided, land, river or sea – UTracks can help you to explore Europe exactly the way you want.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WYA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Expeditions Schools"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Expeditions Schools</div>
World Expeditions Schools is our specialist division dedicated to organising tailor made overseas school group adventures. Specialists in Service Learning projects, choose from more destinations than any other school group provider.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/YOM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Yomads"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Yomads</div>
Yomads offers adventures for the 20s and 30s on six continents. Designed as a way to bring young and likeminded travellers together, Yomads caters to those interested in lightly structured and active trips that allow freedom to roam and explore.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ACT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Cycle Tours"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Cycle Tours</div>
Australian Cycle Tours specialises in high quality self guided and guided cycling experiences in a selection of the most beautiful regions in Australia.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WEX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Expeditions</div>
The pioneers of original, worldwide adventure travel holidays since 1975
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TJX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Trail Journeys"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Trail Journeys</div>
Self-guided cycling experts on New Zealand's Otago Rail Trail and more
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/BMAC.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Blue Mountains Adventure Company"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Blue Mountains Adventure Company</div>
The original Blue Mountains canyoning, hiking, climbing and abseiling experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GWNZ.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Walks of New Zealand"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Walks of New Zealand</div>
Explore New Zealand's most spectacular wilderness regions with the self-guided hiking experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/NAA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="North America Active"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>North America Active</div>
USA Canada hiking & cycling tour specialists, choose from self-guided or guided trips