All the Lukla flights (from/to Lukla) are re-routed from Kathmandu airport to Ramechhap Airport from 1 April 2019, until 30 July 2019, due to the maintenance of the runway at Tribhuvan International airport, Kathmandu.
The airlines have already circulated a formal declaration to this effect. The date and time of the flights shall be the same as that given for the issued tickets. However, it will require you to travel from Kathmandu to Ramechhap on your way up to Lukla. And on your way back to Kathmandu in the same way.
It affects all international and domestic flights, but the Lukla flights are the most affected. Every season, thousands of tourists fly to Lukla to fulfill the dream of hiking to Everest Base Camp, Mera Peak, Lobuche Peak, or Island Peak. Also, all expeditions to Everest from the south operate via Lukla.
All flights from and to the Lukla from Kathmandu to Manthali Airport, Ramechhap, will be routed during this period, while Kathmandu airport will shut down completely every day between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. This new arrangement makes it possible to know certain things before you travel to Lukla.
Where is Manthali Airport, Ramechhap?
The airport of Manthali is locating at 474 m in the valley of the Tamakoshi River in Manthali. It is located 132 km east of Kathmandu, and the road from Kathmandu takes 4,5 hours. It is a tiny town that usually does not see a lot of visitors. Therefore, the availability of accommodation is limited, and the level of service is not very high.
As there are so many trekkers coming to catch their flights, it is very likely that during the peak seasons April – May, you don’t find accommodation in Manthali.
What are the best options to manage transport to Manthali Airport?
If you have booked your travel arrangements either directly with the airlines or travel agencies, they must take over your transport, which will most likely be a private transfer.
Getting to Manthali, Ramechhap.
1. Get a cab to Koteshwor from your hotel.
2. Catch a local bus or regular jeep to Manthali from Koteshwor Bus station. The local bus or vehicles usually depart from 6:00 to 13:00.
Kathmandu to Manthali Route Map
How do we think to deal with this?
Here’s a better option for people who have booked their trips with Himalayan Exploration:
Himalayan Exploration has recently visited Manthali to plan our activities and find the best solution to deal with this situation. We believe that it would be extremely uncomfortable for our clients to drive early in the morning to Manthali for 4-5 hours and then board a Lukla flight to asleep. It will make your day extremely hectic and won’t let you start your walk to Phakding or Monjo in a great spirit.
One day earlier is the best way to deal with this change. Mulkot is a small town, only 37 km (1 hour’s drive) from Manthali Airport. It not only breaks down the monotonous drive but also makes you comfortable, as Mulkot has high-quality lodging that Manthali doesn’t have. You can stay at a Mulkot hotel comfortably.
If the flight is canceled for any reason, you can use our tent facility for free. However, you will have to manage your sleeping bags of your own. Himalayan Exploration Treks will assign staff and organize tents in the region as a backup.