Ramechhap lies around 132 kilometers away from Kathmandu. You will be driving for roughly 5 hours to reach Manthali Airport of Ramechhap, to catch a flight to Lukla. It takes around 20 minutes to reach Lukla from Ramechhap by air. To catch an early morning flight you are highly likely to leave as early as 2am from Kathmandu. Alternatively, you can go a day before and stay overnight at a hotel in Ramechhap.
Major airlines operating flights from Ramechhap-Lukla-Ramechhap are Summit Airlines, Sita Air, and Tara Air. The one-way airfare is around US $150 per person for a foreigner. There are around 15 flights daily to Lukla. Flights depart as early as 6 am and the last flight is scheduled at 9:15 am. Moreover, most of the travel agents and companies offering Everest Base Trek provide shuttle service to Ramechhap from Kathmandu.
Flight from Lukla to Kathmandu is redirected to Ramechhap due to traffic congestion and a high influx of tourists during high season. The high tourist season in Nepal is spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November). However, the first and last flight operates directly from Kathmandu to Lukla. Book an early trip so that you can secure your place on a direct flight to Lukla and avoid an additional journey to Ramechhap.
Flight to Ramechhap will add 5 hours approx. to your journey. It seems like an added inconvenience but let’s see the brighter side,
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Besides bad weather contributing to frequent flight delays and cancellation, traffic congestion at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu is another deciding factor. The best part is that Ramechhap Airport is dedicated to operating Lukla flights only.
Flying from Ramechhap to Luka is cost-effective. One way flight from Kathmandu to Lukla for a foreigner is approximately US $180 while airfare from Ramecchap to Lukla is US $150.
Manthali Airport of Ramechhap can reopen quickly at any time when the weather clears up since the airport only operates Lukla flights. It increases the chances of you flying to Lukla.
Flight cancellation and delays can create a backlog of flights and few additional days might be added to your trip. Since Ramechhap solely operates Lukla flights backlog management will be easier.
Ramechhap airport is nearer to Lukla than Kathmandu and the flight duration is roughly 20 minutes. Regardless of the limited number of aircrafts more flights can operate when the weather is good.
You don’t need to add additional days in your itinerary when flying from Ramechhap to Lukla. But you will be leaving as early as 2 am for Ramechhap to catch a flight to Lukla. If you don’t want to compromise your goodnight sleep then travel to Ramechhap a day prior to your scheduled flight and stay at a hotel.