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Major interesting facts about Lukla airport

February 19, 2020

Major interesting facts about Lukla airport

Lukla, a small Sherpa town located in the Khumbu region of Nepal, is the busiest gateway to the Everest region trekking, making it a popular destination for adventure hikers. Lukla airport, with its 575-meter long airstrip, is one of the busiest domestic airports in Nepal, connecting trekkers to the Everest region. Despite its name, Lukla is not home to many goats and sheep anymore. Instead, it is a small Sherpa town containing a short airstrip airport, which is located between big massif mountains and at the foot of Mt. Everest.

Although the airport was listed as the number one most dangerous airport in 2009, Lukla airport is now safe to fly in and out of, as it is only authorized to allow flights during perfect weather conditions. Lukla flights are always weather-dependent, so it is common for flights to be canceled due to unpredictable weather. Everest trekkers should keep some spare days for the Lukla flight to Kathmandu, as flight cancellations can cause unexpected delays in their trekking schedule.

Everest trekkers fly to Lukla for their adventure journey and experience a short, 30-minute scenic flight with incredible Himalayan vistas and variegated landscapes. Lukla Tenzing Hillary Airport is the most popular domestic airport in Nepal and the starting point for every Everest trekker and climber’s adventure journey.

Here are some significant realities about the Lukla Airport-

Lukla Airport and Weather

Lukla weather depends upon the season of the year. Generally, the autumn season (Sep. – Nov.) is the best season of the year to trek in the Everest region. The next spring season (March to May) to go to Everest adventure hiking.

The sky gets really clear almost every day between September and November similar, to March to May. The flights are on time and less risky.

Usually, Early flights till 11 am are sure which means you can fly on that particular day, otherwise due to the clouds you may stop one more night at Lukla. This is why you are kindly recommended to book your morning flight ticket to/from Lukla.

During the peak season in Lukla, there are quite some flights at least about 40 Flights a day, and really busy. Likewise, there are just a few flights in December, January, February, June, July, August because of unpredictable weather in Lukla and Kathmandu. Except for the best trekking season spring & Autumn, the other two seasons are relatively quite risky due to the Lukla weather and fly only till 12 noon about not all-day flights.

Trekking to Everest base camp is probably the dream of all adventure outdoor lovers, but they can’t manage their time in the right month or in trekking season so, No worries if you are not able to fly due to the weather, you may go by bus/jeep from Kathmandu to the Sallery, then trek 2 days to reach Lukla, Even though there will be helicopter services to fly from Kathmandu to Lukla, which is not so expensive. You just add some more money on top of your Plane ticket.

The Best months to fly to Lukla and trek to Everest

The best months to fly to Lukla and trek to Everest are in the Autumn season (September to November) and Spring season (March to May). During these months, the weather is relatively stable with clear skies, mild temperatures, and little rain or snowfall, making it ideal for trekking and flying to Lukla.

In Autumn, the weather is generally dry and sunny with clear views of the Himalayas, making it the busiest season for trekking and climbing in the Everest region. The temperatures are cool, but not too cold, and the trails are relatively less crowded than during the Spring season.

In Spring, the weather is warm and pleasant with blooming rhododendrons and other colorful flowers along the trails. The views of the snow-capped Himalayas are also spectacular during this season, although the trails and tea houses tend to be more crowded.

It’s important to keep in mind that weather in the mountains can be unpredictable and flights to Lukla can be delayed or cancelled due to bad weather conditions. Therefore, it’s always advisable to have a few extra days in your itinerary as a buffer in case of any delays.

There are several reasons why spring and autumn are the best months to fly to/from Lukla

  • Usually every day, no clouds,
  • Not really windy,
  • Lukla airport is dry and clean, which is relatively safe to land,
  • The Sky is a very clear plus, which means, visibility is super clear,
  • Many Choices of plane tickets in the High season, cause there are quite some different air companies that fly in and out,
  • The Temperature is mild and the route of the Everest trek is clean,
  • If you trek in March and April you can also get a chance to see many Everest climbers at the base of Everest,
  • If Weather is mild then you may not get mountain sickness,
  • These two different time span got so many Nepali local festivals so cultural aspects also good,

There are many merits if you are able to manage your time on the Everest trip during spring and autumn.

Airplane vs. Helicopter flying to/from Lukla

The main mode of transportation for getting to and from Lukla is by airplane. However, helicopter flights are also available for those who prefer a quicker and more comfortable option.

Airplane flights to Lukla typically take off from the domestic terminal of Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu and take approximately 30 minutes to reach Lukla. These flights are operated by a few domestic airlines and offer spectacular views of the Himalayan mountain range. However, flights can be delayed or canceled due to bad weather, which is common during the monsoon season from June to August.

Helicopter flights to Lukla offer a more convenient and flexible option as they are not as affected by weather conditions. The flight time is bit longer, usually around 40-45 minutes, and helicopters can fly higher than airplanes, allowing for a better view of the landscape. However, the cost of a helicopter flight is significantly higher than that of an airplane flight, and availability may be limited.

Ultimately, the choice between an airplane and a helicopter flight to Lukla depends on personal preferences, budget, and the level of comfort and convenience desired.

Cost Details for a Helicopter flight to Lukla Everest: 

  • Kathmandu to/from Lukla: $ 300-500 US per head (Sharing Basis)
  • Kathmandu to/from Lukla: $ 2500 -3000 US (Chartered flight)

The price which I mentioned above is just rough, it can be slightly up and down due to the weather in Lukla and the Volume of Passengers.

Lukla is a hub of the Khumbu Everest region. It is a long extended Sherpa town on the foothill of Everest Himalaya.

Facts of Lukla Airport and Everest region

  • Before making Lukla Tenzing Hillary airport, There is just one option to go to Jiri from Kathmandu by bus than trek 5 to 6 days to reach Lukla,
  • Lukla airport was named in January 2008 by Tenzing-Hillary Airport out of appreciation for Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Sir Edmund Hillary who have submitted Mt. Everest on 1953 May,
  • Lukla is very short and small, 1729 ft. Long and 65 ft. Wider,
  • You get 15 kg baggage recompense in a trip to Lukla and it is a 30-minute short flight, provides you stunning Himalayan view,
  • While landing at Lukla starts from North to South direction, likewise take off from Lukla is South to North,
  • The plane to/From Lukla is very small thus, there are no fixed seats to sit therefore you are recommended to sit on the left when you are flying to Lukla similarly, on the right when you are flying to Kathmandu/Manali. It will reward you with an incredible massif Everest mountain panorama. Although, it is the best scenic short flight,
  • There would be about over 40 flights every day in the high trekking season (Mid. September to End of November),
  • There are a few luxury hotels, where you can stay a few nights after your successful trekking,
  • There is only Money Exchange but Not an ATM machine yet at Lukla,
  • There are many small inns where they sell local food and drinks, but be sure if you are eating choose a clean place and ask if their food is fresh or not,
  • At Lukla, there is no Radar System, but there is a radio communication system to take on and take off,
  • Keep some extra days for the Lukla flight, in case if there is bad weather,
  • Make sure you have enough Nepali cash with you,
  • The total population of Lukla is about 1,500,
  • The flights generally do not fly on time, but you are always in the queue as per their rules.

What is the Temperature in December and January and in Lukla?

Lukla experiences its coldest temperatures during December and January, with an average high of 3.3°C (37.9°F) and an average low of -16.3°C (2.7°F). Conversely, June is the warmest month with an average temperature of 14°C (57.2°F). In contrast, January is the coldest month with temperatures dropping to as low as 1°C (33.8°F).

What are the names of Airplanes fly to Lukla from Kathmandu?

Several airlines operate flights from Kathmandu to Lukla. The major airlines include Tara Air, Summit Air, Sita Air, and Yeti Airlines. There are also some other airlines that operate flights to Lukla, including Simrik Air, Goma Air, and Nepal Airlines.

The Tara Air and Summit airlines are recommended.

How far is Everest base camp from Lukla?

The distance between Lukla and Everest Base Camp is 38.58 miles or 62 kilometers. To reach Everest Base Camp from Lukla, it takes around 8 days of trekking, and about 3 to 4 days to return.

How much does it cost to trek to Everest Base Camp from Kathmandu?

Usually, the cost of Everest base camp trekking depends on the services and Numbers of guide and porters, however, 11 night 12 days Everest base camp cost $1,150 US, Which includes all your meals (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner), Trekking Permits, Local Entrance fees, Mountain accommodation, Guide/porter and their salary, Lukla Plane ticket(Both way) and all essential paperwork.

How cold is EBC (Everest Base Camp) in October?

On average, during the day the temperature rises up to 15 °C but still if it is a sunny day the temperature gets about 20 °C.  Similarly, the lowest Temperature in October drops down to -5 °C in the early morning and Mid Night.

You may like to follow a similar short package of the Everest region:

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