The reason and changes for operating Lukla flight from Ramechap rather than Kathmandu due to heavy air traffic. Especially during the high and peak seasons for trekking and other adventure in Nepal Himalayas around the Everest region. Normally the flight starts its take-off for Lukla from Kathmandu, as Kathmandu International Airport also shares the same runways with International flights. Which makes the air traffic and runways quite busy and disturbing to maintain the flight time schedules. Like delays for a longer duration, that leads to cancellation sometimes, especially for planes that fly to mountainous airport like Lukla.
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Attention, wide world travelers trekking around Everest and Khumbu. Might be surprised by the change of flight route to Lukla and back.
The Nepal Government Civil Aviation Department has declared that all flights to and from Lukla. Will be operated from Ramechap at Manthali town airport, located Mid-East Nepal.
The reason and changes for operating Lukla flight from Ramechap rather than Kathmandu due to heavy air traffic. Especially during the high and peak seasons for trekking and other adventure in Nepal Himalayas around the Everest region.
Normally the flight starts its take-off for Lukla from Kathmandu, as Kathmandu International Airport also shares the same runways with International flights. Which makes the air traffic and runways quite busy and disturbing to maintain the flight time schedules. Like delays for a longer duration, that leads to cancellation sometimes, especially for planes that fly to mountainous airport like Lukla.
The flight to Lukla from Ramechap, Manthali Airport. Which makes the air journey shorter and more reliable than flying in and out of Kathmandu airport.
As for the Lukla flight from Kathmandu or Ramechap airport, needs to fly as early as possible in the morning till mid-day. Depending upon the weather conditions on both sides as well on air routes also. Himalayan weather even at the best time of the year can be unpredictable. Where flights to mountainous regions can lead to delays and cancellations, which can be hectic and inconvenient to passengers.
Especially for foreign visitors with limited holidays and great dreams to view
Mt. Everest and the Himalayas at a close distance.
As Lukla flight is best when the weather is fine for clear visibility of landing on the runways both ways. So most flights to Lukla operate early morning from 6 a.m. onwards till mid-day or late afternoon sometimes.
IMPORTANT REASON TO FLY LUKLA AND BACK FROM RAMECHAP AIRPORT:
The Lukla that operates is smaller aircraft like Twin Otter, Dornier or similar made for mountainous areas and short flights. The capacity of not more than 18 passengers, apart from crew members, is piloted by the co-pilot and main pilot the Captain. The weight limit is also the most important for flying in a mountainous zone. Overall 20 kg per passenger is allowed including the hand and bigger baggage, as well as other security measures.
The Lukla flights, normally operate only in the morning time due to heavy, strong wind and foggy weather on route flights.
Due to various reasons, the Nepal Government and Civil Aviation has made the decision to operate Lukla flight from Ramechap. Lukla is the busiest flights with a mass flow of trekkers, and mountaineers during the high seasons of time.
So, to make it easier, shorter and reliable the rules were obtained in the last few years. Which will continue from autumn 2022 onwards till further notice from Civil Aviation.
The flight from Kathmandu takes about 30 to 35 minutes depending on direct or indirect routes. Which is 150 km air distance from Kathmandu to Lukla, and from Ramechap airport is only 73.4 km via air. Takes only a 20 to 25 minutes flight to Lukla from Ramechap, although shorter by 5 minutes. But in a mountainous region with weather conditions, makes a lot of differences, which makes Ramechap the ideal and perfect location.
TO REACH MANTHALI AIRPORT OF RAMECHAP FROM KATHMANDU:
From Kathmandu to Ramechap at Manthali airport is about 144 k.m. driving on a new B.P. Highway. Taking less than five hours journey, where a drive leads east from the capital to Dhulikhel old town with mountain resorts.
Then the drive leads past Dhulikhel town heading downhill on a winding road to Ramechap.
Ramechap is relatively a low warm mid-hills, and heavily farming area at 1,218 m / 3,997 feet high. Regular local buses and smaller coach operates daily from Kathmandu, in the morning time of 7 to 8 a.m. The local buses and coaches can be quite overcrowded sometimes, especially during major festivals.
Takes a longer duration of time but is interesting to observe the locals and their culture and custom.
Taking a private vehicle depending upon the group size either on car, jeep and coach or bus takes nearly 5 hours. On smaller vehicles a drive of four hours at the most is an exciting scenic journey.
PLACES TO STAY OVERNIGHTS IN MANTHALI RAMECHAP:
Travelers for those who wish to travel to Manthali, Ramechap a day earlier for the flight to Lukla. Can stay overnight in a local lodge, smaller hotels, or in standard resorts, the quality of local hotels, has improved? Including the foods as per the choice of guests providing a comprehensive food menu, as the business flourished.
Since the route of flights to Lukla has been diverted over the years. Making Manthali the main headquarters town of Ramechap progress and bringing the local economy to the areas. In the past, the people of Ramechap was heavily dependent on farming and livestock, the rise and flow of tourist. Has awakened the sleepy Ramechap town and its people.
After enjoying a pleasant stop in Ramechap at one of its hotels at Manthali, a short walk to the airport. A scenic flight brings you to Lukla after a 20-25 minutes air journey, landing at Lukla Tenzing Hillary Airport. Which is at the height of 2,860 m / 9383 feet high, the main busy town of the Khumbu area.
Where most treks and various adventure starts and ends in this exciting Sherpa town of Lukla. On the way back from Lukla probably some might wish to stay another overnight in Manthali before reaching Kathmandu.