Lukla is known as the gateway to the World’s tallest mountain Mount Everest & its base camp. Trekking in the Everest region is the most majestic experience that one can have in their lifetime. Getting to Everest base camp is without any doubt the most thrilling & adventurous thing one can try but getting to Lukla is also an adventure in itself. Every trip or trek to Gokyo Valley and Everest region begins with a flight from Kathmandu to the Tenzing Hillary airport also Known as Lukla airport in Lukla which is surrounded by the Himalayan mountains.
Nearly every trekkers and equipment come through this airport making it the hub of trekking and transferring activity. The flight from Kathmandu is quite short than most people imagine which is 30-35 minutes. Most of the trekkers tend to search a lot about the safety of flights to Lukla as Tenzing Hillary airport is named the World’s deadliest airport.
Is flight to Lukla safe?
Flight to Lukla is definitely more dangerous than any other commercial airport but it is still pretty safe. About 20 or 30 aircraft land in Lukla every day during the peak season & almost every trekker who visit the Everest region goes through this flight. There have been several accidents involving passenger aircraft in Lukla airport in the past. Since then, the flight regulations & conditions for aircraft making a journey to Lukla airport have become more strict which has improved passengers' safety in recent days. While the flight to Lukla can be very nerve-wracking but it still remains the first adventure that one will have to go through before the Everest Base camp trek.
Due to the change in weather conditions, altitude & rapid change in visibility, the flight to Lukla is very difficult to schedule & predict. There are a lot of cases where the flight to Lukla are delayed or sometimes even cancelled because of unfavourable weather condition. For the sake of the safety of all passengers, the Airline company doesn’t take any risks with the weather condition. So, delays with Lukla flights are very common which can happen at any time of the year but it can especially happen around monsoon season.
If your flight is delayed then, we will reschedule you for the next quickest possible flight. This can be very soon or it may even take a few days which is totally unpredictable. So, the best way to cope with this problem is to add a few extra days to the end of your trip. We suggest all the trekkers consider this as part of their journey & have patience if they ever have to face Lukla flight delays.
Sometimes it is possible that your luggage will be delayed by the airlines or shifted to another flight. You should make sure to put all your important & emergency things like medications to keep in your handbag. Luggage delays or misplacement of bags isn’t handled by us but we will try our best to get your things to you as soon as possible.
Helicopters to Lukla are easier & flexible than a flight to Lukla. We can immediately shift your flight to a helicopter in case of flight cancellation or flight delay if you want. The helicopter can be a little more expensive than a flight but if you decide to take this route then, we can help you book the helicopter & make the rest of the arrangements for you. In case of flight cancellation & flight delay, we will refund you the cost of your plane ticket.
If you choose to go by helicopter then, you should be ready to pay 400$-600$ extra per person. The cost of the helicopter isn’t fixed as it changes from time to time. The cost of the helicopter will be the most expensive when everyone demands it & cheapest when there are the least demands. Also, the price may vary from the one in Kathmandu & to the one offered in the mountains. But normally, you should prepare yourself to pay around 400$-600$ extra per person if you decide to go through a helicopter.
It is always best to plan some extra days while trekking to the Everest region to deal with flight delays & cancellations. You might want to look into other options to get back to Kathmandu if you’re stuck in Lukla. Some of the options are;
– Trekking from Jiri
– Hike out to Salleri
– Helicopter to Paphlu
– Helicopter to Surkhe
– Flight from Ramechhap