Flight to Lukla is one of the most scenic air flights in the world as flying over the Great Himalayas will let you experience the stunning views. It’s something you won’t get to see anywhere else in the world. The Tenzing Hillary Airport in Lukla, also known as the Gateway to Everest, is the main airstrip in the Everest region from where your travel to Everest region is conducted. Whether it be trekking in Everest region, or any other activities like mountaineering, expedition, and peak climbing; Lukla is the place from where journey to all these activities begins. The flight to Lukla is available from Kathmandu and Ramechhap. The flight from Kathmandu to Lukla is around of 30 to 45 minutes.
Safety of Lukla Airport
Lukla airport elevation lies at an altitude of 2,860 meters and on the hilltop surrounded by big mountains around. So when a plane takes off or is about to land, it doesn’t get many chances to recover itself if something goes wrong as the airstrip is short and runs to the edge of the cliff. However safety precautions are taken accordingly.
Each day, 20 to 30 aircraft land in Lukla airport. An average of 30,000 tourists flies into Lukla each year. The security and safety of the Lukla airport has significantly went up since the last decade. The last accident involving passenger aircraft in Lukla happened back in October, 2008. Since then, there has not been any aircraft related accident. The passenger safety has been improved greatly since the tragic accident a decade ago. Airstrip is in constant maintenance and the aircrafts have been upgraded as well by most airline companies of Nepal.
Kathmandu to Lukla
Your flight to Lukla from Kathmandu is pre-arranged by our company. We look after all the logistics regarding your Lukla flight if you’re traveling to Everest region with us. Keep in mind though that we pick the flights according to the weather situation. Getting early flights for our clients is one of the key things that we prioritize to minimize delays here at CoreTreks.
Helicopter Flights to Lukla
Helicopter are much more flexible when it comes to flying to Lukla but it is however more expensive than a commercial flight. If you wish to travel to Lukla by helicopter, we can help you make arrangements. Expect to pay around $400 to $600 per person if you’re taking the option of Heli-flight to Everest.
Flight Delays at Lukla
The flight to or from Lukla is difficult to predict as it heavily relies on the weather condition. Airline companies do not take any chances with the weather condition. During bad conditions, the plane could even return back to Kathmandu. Because of this, delays at Lukla flights aren’t uncommon.
The delays are more prevalent during the Monsoon season (May-Sep). In such cases, flights will be rescheduled on the next flight soon as possible. However, we will not be able to point our fingers on an exact date. It could be a couple of hours after your scheduled departure, or even a few days later in some rare cases. Flight delays are just another part of traveling to the Everest region. For this reason, we highly recommend our travelers to add at least a day or two at the end of your trip so that you may have some flexibility in case of any delays.
It will be best to just plan an extra couple of days on your trip beforehand and wait for a better weather. The following are some suggested numbers of extra days based on the season:
- December, January, February – 3 extra days
- March, April, May – 3 extra days
- June, July August – 4 extra days
- September, October, November – 3 extra days
However, if you’re stuck for more than you anticipated or are in tight schedule then we can arrange other options as well. That includes:
Helicopter to Kathmandu:
If it’s urgent getting back, then we can reserve a helicopter flight back to Kathmandu. Keep in mind that it will be a bit costly, so plan your budget accordingly.
Helicopter to Phaplu:
If helicopters are in limited availability then could take the Heli till Phaplu where there’s an airstrip lower in the valley close to Salleri. From there we can arrange a jeep to Kathmandu and the ride will take us around 10 to 12 hours’ drive.
Note: Helicopters ride back to Kathmandu charges in-between USD400 to USD600.
Trek to Jiri:
This is the path used by the very first people to reach the Everest summit, Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay. It was the only trail to Everest region until the construction of the Lukla airport in 1964. The path involves 5 days of trekking along with a long bus ride to Kathmandu.
Trek to Salleri:
Another option would be to trek 2 days from Lukla to Salleri from where you can hire a Jeep to Kathmandu. The ride will be around 10 to 12 hours.
Baggage Reclaim Delays
Sometime your baggage might get shifted to another flight or delayed by the airline. It is uncommon but still a possibility. So make sure to keep all your valuables and essential things in your hand carry. The delays or misplacement caused by the airline are out of our control but we will make sure to gear you up during your trek.
Insurance Cover for flight delays
For your insurance coverage, we suggest that you talk to the company representative directly to clear out any issues. However many insurance packages will cover “trip interruption” which basically means that you they will reimburse you for the extra travel expenses. CoreTreks suggests that you read and affirm the coverage of your insurance beforehand, and you wish the experts to take care of that then feel free to contact us at our official mailing address.