Exploring the Journey from Manthali Airport to Lukla

As an alternate flight from Kathmandu to Lukla, the Nepal government has rerouted the flight from Manthali (Ramechhap) to Lukla since March 15th, 2023. This particular flight only takes around 15 to 20 minutes and is the shortest and easy option to reach Lukla. 

So, currently, to reach Lukla, you will need to reach Manthali, Ramechhap first either through a 20 minute flight or through a 4 to 5 hour bus ride. For many wondering why this sudden change occurs in the industry, it is due to the heavy air traffic. 

In Nepal, the peak seasons for trekking and other adventure activities are during the Spring (March, April, and May) and Autumn (September, October, and November). Hence, there are thousands of tourists in flow which increases the demand of Kathmandu to Lukla flight causing the traffic congestion in the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu. 

Altogether, the high traffic congestion caused disturbances in other regular flights going and coming out of Kathmandu. Therefore, the Nepal Aviation Authority diverted the flights to the Manthali Airport. An Overview of Manthali Airport in Ramechhap

The Manthali Airport is a domestic airport located approximately 150 kilometers in the eastern side of Kathmandu. It is in the headquarter of Ramechhap district in Province no. 3. Additionally, this airport is situated at the altitude of 474 meters above the sea level with a 518 meters runway. 

Furthermore, the Manthali Airport is said to be operated by small, twin-engine aircraft such as Dornier Do 228 or Twin Otter and is equipped with basic facilities for passengers. It also has a terminal building, a few shops and restaurants. 

After the shift of the flights from Kathmandu to Manthali, the Manthali Airport has been operating 11 flights a day to Lukla. There are several airlines that help with the flight and those are as mentioned below. 

  • Tara Air
  • Yeti Airlines
  • Guna Airlines 
  • Simrik Airlines
  • Sita Air
  • Makalu Air
  • Summit Air
  • Shree Airlines
  • Nepal Airlines 

What is the cost of the Manthali to Lukla flight cost?

This Manthali to Lukla is a short scenic flight which you must book in advance so that the flights do not get overbooked. Additionally, the cost of the flight varies to people with different nationalities as well as depending upon the seasons. 

Generally, the average cost of the Manthali to Lukla flight is as mentioned below. 

  • Manthali to Lukla Flight: NRs 7,050 (for a single Nepali citizen), NRs 14,200 (for a Nepali citizen for both ways), INR 9,988 (for a single Indian citizen), and USD 157 (for foreigners)
  • Lukla to Manthali Flight: NRs 7,150 (for a single Nepali citizen), INR 9,988 (for a single Indian citizen), USD 315 (for foreigners for both ways), and USD 158 (for foreigners)

Key Facts On Manthali Airport in Ramechhap

  • The Manthali Airport is located in the headquarter of Ramechhap that is near the bank of the Tamakoshi River. 
  • It is situated at an altitude of 494 meters or 1,555 feet. 
  • It operates around 11 flights per day. 

An Overview of Tenzing Hillary Airport in Lukla

 (Tenzing Hillary Airport)

Tenzing Hillary Airport is a small airport located in Lukla which is one of the world’s most challenging and dangerous airports due to its location in high altitude and complex landing place as it is surrounded by high hills.

This particular airport has a single runway which is 527 meters long. Yes, it is also one of the shortest runways in the world. 

Key Facts On Tenzing Hillary Airport in Lukla

  • Tenzing Hillary Airport is situated at an elevation of 9,337 meters or 2,846 feet as the primary gateway to the Everest region
  • It is the world’s most dangerous airport. 
  • It is a tourist hub and is often busy during the peak seasons in Nepal. 
  • It also has the shortest runway in the world. 
  • Flights in this airport are often canceled due to unpredictable weather conditions. 

The Gateway Of Trekking Routes In The Everest Region

The flight to Lukla holds a great importance as it is the gateway to every trekking route in the Everest region. Also, most importantly, there is no land transportation facility to this region and the only other way to this region is via a helicopter ride. 

If you are actually looking for a helicopter service to Lukla then, you can get one from Kathmandu which can cost anywhere between $450 and $550 per person. Indeed, the helicopter ride is a much faster and easier means of transportation. It is wise if you book the helicopter ride in advance as during the busy seasons, it is nearly hard to book one. 

Some of the trekking tracks that you can embark in the Everest region are as follows. 

  • Everest Circuit Trek (16 days)
  • Gokyo Chola Pass Trekking with EBC (18 days)
  • Everest Base Camp Trek (14 days)
  • Gokyo Lake Trek (11 days)
  • Everest Three Passes Trek (21 days)
  • Everest base camp luxury trekking (16 days) 

In A Nutshell

The shift from Kathmandu to Lukla flight to Manthali to Lukla flight is a positive change in the tourism region. It has eased the air traffic congestion from the Tribhuvan International Airport during the peak seasons and also given safety and comfort to the travelers. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How has Manthali to Lukla flight helped?

The Manthali (Ramechhap) to Lukla flight has managed and decreased the numbers of flight cancellation and delays. However, having said that, the flight cancellation can occur due to bad weather conditions hence, it is advisable that you keep some buffer time during your journey. 

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