Nepal covers distinctive climatic and geographical variations and most of the trekking happens in the mountain regions. The Mountain region is covered with high mountains and hills and you can get a chance to experience the cancellations/delays of domestic flights. Even the only one International Airport (Tribhuvan International Airport) doesn’t have instrumental landing systems which mean radio communication is the main source of contact with pilots and airport tower. So, adverse weather conditions like heavy rainfall, thick fog, strong winds, cloudy weather, and any kind of weather circumstances may bring the cancellation/delay of domestic flights. Besides this, the topography of Nepal is challenging as well.
The spring and autumn season has fewer chances of flight delays and a rare chance of cancellation as we can see the dry weather, clear skies, and most stable weather. Besides these two seasons, the flight can get delayed or sometimes we have to cancel as well because the weather cannot be guaranteed and sometimes the weather can remain adverse for a week long. In such a case we have to choose either an alternative way or cancel the flight. So, normally we recommend travelers manage a few extra days while traveling especially in the mountain region of Nepal.
The Popular Lukla Flight
When it comes to trekking in Nepal, Lukla is the very first name of most travelers, and especially flies to this airport are memorable and popular among travelers across the world. Lukla airport is the gateway of Everest which is situated at an elevation of 2,840m. This airport is considered one of the most extreme airports in the world because of the short runway and unpredictable weather situations. You can see the frequent delays and cancellations of flights in this airport. Sometimes, the entire trip plan gets affected because of the flight cancellation in Lukla. However, in case the flight gets canceled, you can easily reschedule for the next day or Footprint Adventure can help you in other ways like chartering the helicopter, traveling via road ( takes a few more days extra).
Manthali Airport (alternative to Kathmandu Airport)
146 kilometers separate the city of Ramechhap from Kathmandu. When a trip to Lukla from Kathmandu won't appear practical, airlines run their daily flights to the Manthali (headquarters of Ramechhap) airport. Flights are operated from Manthali airport, and the journey to Lukla takes just 17 minutes, helping to avoid congested air traffic during the busiest travel times. Ramechhap is a four-hour drive from Kathmandu and is accessible by bus, jeep, or private vehicle. The benefit of flying out of Manthali Airport is that it only handles flights to Lukla, thus there is zero chance of a delay or cancellation due to air traffic.
Other alternatives regarding Lukla flight cancellation
The most effective option is to extend your trip and wait for better weather, but if you find yourself delayed in Lukla, you'll need to consider other options, such as:
- Hike to Salleri
- Helicopter to Phaplu
- Trekking from Jiri
For more information on Lukla Flights visit here.
Note: We highly recommend bringing travel insurance with you which covers the cancellation of flights. In case of cancellation of flights and you have less time for Nepal stay, we can help to charter a helicopter at your service. However, it costs you for that instant time, but you can claim later with the insurance company.