Lukla Airport, Solukhumbu Nepal
Lukla Airport, also known as Tenzing Hillary Airport, is a small airport located in the town of Lukla in the Solukhumbu District of Nepal. The airport serves as the gateway to the Sagarmatha National Park and the famous Mount Everest, making it a popular destination for trekkers and mountaineers. It is situated at an elevation of 2,845 meters (9,334 feet) above sea level and has a single runway that is only 527 meters (1,729 feet) long and 20 meters (66 feet) wide.
Due to the challenging terrain and unpredictable weather conditions, only experienced pilots are permitted to land at Lukla Airport. Several airlines are operating daily flights to and from Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal. The flight from Kathmandu to Lukla takes around 30 minutes.
Despite its reputation for being a dangerous airport, Lukla Airport has an excellent safety record, and thousands of tourists safely pass through it every year. However, due to the airport’s limited capacity, flights can be delayed or canceled due to poor weather conditions or other factors, so travelers should plan their trips accordingly.
Gateway to visit Everest & many other high mountains
Yes, that’s correct. Lukla Airport is the main gateway to the Everest region and serves as the starting point for treks to Mount Everest Base Camp, as well as other high mountains in the region. Many trekkers and mountaineers use Lukla as a base camp to acclimatize to the altitude before embarking on their expeditions.
From Lukla, trekkers can follow the popular Everest Base Camp Trek, which takes them through some of the most scenic landscapes in the Himalayas, including Namche Bazaar, Tengboche Monastery, and Gorak Shep, before finally reaching the base camp of Mount Everest.
In addition to Mount Everest, the region is home to many other high mountains, including Lhotse, Nuptse, and Ama Dablam, which are popular among mountaineers. There are also several other trekking routes in the region, such as the Gokyo Lakes Trek, the Three Passes Trek, and the Everest View Trek, Mera Peak climbing which offer stunning views of the mountains and the surrounding landscape.>
List of the Guest houses that are situated near the airport
As Lukla is very popular, there are several guest houses and lodges situated near Lukla Airport that provide accommodation to travelers visiting the Everest region. While there are many guest houses and lodges in Lukla that offer basic accommodations for trekkers and mountaineers, there are also a few luxury lodges that provide a more upscale experience. These lodges are ideal for travelers who prefer more comfortable amenities and a higher level of service.
1. Yeti Mountain Home:
Yeti Mountain Home is a chain of lodges located in several villages along the Everest Base Camp trekking route, including Lukla. It’s a luxury lodge that offers comfortable rooms, hot showers, and delicious meals.
2. Everest Summit Lodge:
Everest Summit Lodge is a chain of lodges located in several villages along the Everest Base Camp trekking route, including Lukla. The lodges offer comfortable rooms, hot showers, and delicious meals.
3. Himalayan Lodge:
Himalayan Lodge is a luxury lodge located in Lukla, just a short walk from the airport. The lodge offers comfortable rooms with modern amenities such as heating, hot showers, and Wi-Fi, as well as a restaurant serving a variety of local and international dishes.
These luxury lodges are ideal for travelers who want to enjoy the beauty of the Everest region without sacrificing comfort and luxury. However, they can be quite expensive compared to the basic guest houses and lodges in the area. It’s always a good idea to book in advance, especially during the peak trekking season, to ensure availability.
It’s worth noting that the Everest region is a remote and challenging environment, and even the luxury lodges in the area may not offer the same level of luxury and service that you might find in more developed areas. However, they do provide a comfortable and relaxing environment for travelers to rest and rejuvenate after a day of trekking or mountaineering in the stunning Himalayan landscape.
Likewise, there are also some cheaper hotels nearby the airport. These guest houses start from basic to Luxury and offer comfortable rooms, hot showers, and delicious meals for a reasonable price. They are Buddha Lode, and Hotel Numbur, Khumbu Lodge, Khumbu Resort, mountain home lodge, Nest…etc. They are popular guest houses near the Lukla Airport.
It’s always a good idea to book your accommodation in advance, especially during the peak trekking season (September to November and March to May), as rooms can fill up quickly.
Popular Airlines for Lukla Flight
Several airlines operate flights to Lukla Airport from Kathmandu. Here are some of the airlines that fly to Lukla:
1. Tara Air [Yeti Group / Yeti Airlines]
2. Sita Air
3. Summit Air
4. Nepal Airlines
Among these, Sita Air, Tara Air, and Summit air are the major airlines that operate frequent flights to Lukla. It’s worth noting that flight schedules are subject to change due to weather conditions and other factors, and travelers are advised to check with the airline for the latest information on flight timings and availability.
How to reach Lukla?
The trailhead to Lukla takes 2 full days from Salleri Bazaar as a drive to Thamdanda for about 5 hours and additional 3-4 hours to hike to get to Lukla Airport. However, Tham Danda to Lukla section in between a motorable road is not available until now hence everyone should follow the hiking trail to get to Lukla.
Therefore, the most common way to get to Lukla Airport is by air. The airport is located in the town of Lukla in the Solukhumbu District of Nepal, and it is the primary gateway to the Everest region. Here are the options to get to Lukla Airport:
1. Fly from Kathmandu to Lukla:
The most popular way to reach Lukla Airport is by taking a flight from Kathmandu to Lukla. Several airlines offer flights to Lukla, including Tara Air, Summit Air, and Sita Airlines. The flight takes around 35 minutes, and the airport lies at an elevation of 2,860 meters (9,383 feet) above sea level.
However, it’s one of the most dangerous airports in the world due to its location, geography, and weather conditions.
Firstly, the airport is located in the eastern Himalayas of Nepal at an altitude of 2,845 meters (9,334 feet), making it one of the highest airports in the world. The high altitude of the airport means that the air is thin, and the runway is shorter than most airports, making it difficult for planes to take off and land.
Secondly, the runway at Lukla is only 527 meters (1,729 feet) long, which is significantly shorter than a standard runway and has a steep incline at one end and a sheer drop at the other. It means that pilots must make a steep descent to land and a steep climb to take off, which requires considerable skill and experience.
Finally, the weather conditions at Lukla airport can be challenging, especially during the monsoon season (June to September) and the winter season (December to February), which can cause low visibility, high winds, and unpredictable weather patterns. The weather conditions can change rapidly, making it difficult for pilots to navigate the runway and land safely.
All of these factors contribute to making Lukla Airport a dangerous airport, and it requires skilled pilots and well-maintained aircraft to ensure safe landings and take-offs. Despite the challenges, Lukla Airport remains an important gateway to the Everest region and is a popular destination for trekkers and climbers from around the world.
2. Helicopter Flight:
If you’re willing to spend more than just a normal airfare, you can take helicopter flights to Lukla on sharing basis. Helicopter flights to Lukla are more expensive than regular flights on fixed-wing aircraft, but they offer a more convenient and comfortable option for those who want to save time.
You can also charter a helicopter from Kathmandu to Lukla if you are 4-5 people because helicopter flights to Lukla are available every morning at the cost of US$ 450 per person on a sharing basis. This option is quicker and more comfortable than trekking or taking a bus, but it can be quite expensive comparing normal plane fares.
3. Trek from Jiri Bazaar:
Another way to reach Lukla Airport is by trekking from Jiri, located about 187 kilometers (116 miles) east of Kathmandu. The trek from Jiri to Lukla takes about 4 to 6 days and offers stunning views of the Himalayas and the surrounding landscape. If you are traveling for 3 week’s holiday in the Everest region then starting from Jiri to Lukla will be the right decision.
4. Drive from Kathmandu to Salleri Bazaar:
You can also drive from Kathmandu to Salleri, which is the district headquarters of the Solukhumbu District, and then trek to Lukla Airport. The drive takes about 10 to 12 hours, and the trek from Salleri to Lukla takes about 3 to 4 days.
It’s worth noting that the flight to Lukla can be subject to weather conditions, and delay flights or canceled due to fog or other adverse weather. It’s important to plan your trip accordingly and be prepared for potential delays or changes to your itinerary.
Often get cancel the Lukla flights
Flights to Lukla, which is a small mountain airport in Nepal, are often subject to cancellations due to weather conditions and other factors such as mechanical issues. As the airport runway is located in a mountainous region, the weather can change rapidly, making flying conditions unpredictable.
On average, it is estimated that Lukla flights get canceled around 20% to 30% of the time during the peak trekking seasons of spring and autumn fall. However, this figure can vary depending on the specific weather patterns of the season and the year.
It’s essential to note that flight cancellations are a common occurrence in Lukla, and travelers should plan accordingly, allowing for extra time in case of cancellations or delays. For that reason we highly recommended you book your flight tickets with us (Gokyo Treks Agency). We often stay connected with guests via WhatsApp or Messenger to assist clients all the time. Likewise, if flights are canceled, we can help you to reschedule your flights for the next morning or arrange alternate transportation or a refund.