Closest Airport to Mt Everest.

Closest airport to Mt Everest – Brief Specifics


Before heading onto any journey or adventure, you will first consider how you will get there. It may be through air road or any medium. But here particularly talking about getting to Mount Everest, there are only two mediums to get there, that is through road or air. And among these two, the most popular one among travelers is through the air.

While traveling by air, the journey will be very specific and systematic as the aircraft takes off and lands at an airport. Hence, even with the presence of gigantic mountains and tense terrain in the region, Everest region has managed to run a systematic airport that is close to Mount Everest. Named Lukla (Tenzing-Hillary) airport, is the closest airport to Mt Everest. Located in the Solukhumbu district of Nepal this airport is named after the legendary climbers Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa.

To reach this airport, one can catch a flight from Kathmandu and travel for 45 minutes with the amazing views of the mountains and hillsides of the country. Therefore, reaching this airport, you may realize that this airport is not the best one out there. You may not find the top-notch services and infrastructures of the top-class airport, but here you will get a glance at the spectacular views of the mountain ranges of the region.

History of Lukla Airport

Built more than 5 decades ago, this is the only airstrip in the Everest region, that runs regularly. The main initiator for the establishment of this airstrip is Sir Edmund Hillary who is a famous mountaineer from New Zealand who conquered the Mount Everest summit for the first time. He made the initiation for this airport in 1964 AD which is exactly after a decade of their successful ascent to Everest. As travelers had caused a lot of problems for travelers coming to Mount Everest, he felt the urgency to establish the closest airport to Mt Everest.

By Trading a big area of land with Sherpas for a couple of thousand dollars, he initiated the first step of building an airstrip. Then after, to make it look like an airport he took the help of the sherpas to make the surface flat. He lured them with the alcohol and made them do the foot-stomping work. Doing this, the airport took its shape and it was able to launch and land the aircraft.

Finally, later in 1999, the surface was paved with asphalt concrete and it welcomed more flights with tourists. Since then, this airport has been able to welcome thousands and thousands of tourists, which leads them to the Everest base camp and then on to the ultimate Everest Summit.

Present-Day Lukla Airport

In the present day, this airport runs regularly. But when the weather is not favorable and the conditions are not normal then the flight gets delayed or even postponed. Since the aircraft is too small and quick, the airport has been able to run the quick flights with 16 passengers on board. The aircraft will do back-and-forth flights from Lukla to Kathmandu, mostly in the best conditions that is, between the hours of 6 am to 9 am. Right after landing, the plane will only rest for a couple of minutes before making the flight to grab other tourists.

lukla airport

Sometimes, in the middle of the flights, unexpected weather conditions like rain and heavy clouds come as problems for the pilots, but with their sheer knowledge, they are able to make the landing safe and sound. However, if the flight is about to start and any other circumstance arises then tourists have to wait for a couple hours or even for a day, depending on the nature of the weather. In rare cases like in 2011, where thousands of trekkers were stuck in Lukla for a week because of heavy fog, making the flight impossible. This particular event gathered the global attention of adventurers from all over the world.

Busyness of Lukla Airport

Being the closest airport to Mt Everest, Lukla remains quite busy transferring travelers. In recent times, we have seen an increase in many people seeking to do an Everest expedition, so in comparison to the previous years, there are a lot of visitors coming to Lukla. Mostly than the Everest Expedition, travelers from different parts of the world come here to do the Everest base camp trek.

To do this trek, most travelers choose favorable trekking seasons like autumn and spring, which ultimately make the airport crowded and busy. Since these seasons have the most stable conditions, the chances of getting the flight delayed and canceled are minimal. Hence for that reason, it has been able to attract visitors in large numbers in these seasons.

This is the only airport that takes the visitors to the closest possible, starting point for the Everest base camp trek. However, if trekkers wish to not take a flight, they can do the trek for a couple of days from Jiri to Lukla.

Landing and Take-off

The process of landing and takeoff at Lukla Airport is unique and harder than at other airports. The plane has to turn while performing the landing and also after landing, the runway is very short, making the pilot make the quick landing. In comparison to landing, take-off is quite relaxed. To complete this flight you will find Experienced pilots doing the flights, so you don’t have to worry about it.

Aircraft landing at Luka Airport.

Tips before heading to Lukla

  • Before booking the flight you do some research on the weather on that specific day. Then accordingly, book the flight in the early hours after you ensure the weather is stable and clear.
  • Try to book the flight as early as possible on the day. If you do that, you will get to choose the seat of your own choice. Try taking the left seat on the flight to Lukla and the right seat on the return flight to Kathmandu.
  • Trekkers are only permitted to bring 15 kilos of luggage per ticket on this journey. However, if your weight exceeds 15 kilograms, you can pay 150 rupees per kilogram at the airport.
  • If your flight is delayed you can take the flight the next day, however, the regular flights on that day will take over your flights. But in case of cancellation, your flight will fly according to your time. In some cases, you can also take helicopter flights instead of airplane flights. These shared helicopter flights will normally cost around 500 dollars.
  • Always book flight tickets with a renowned airline company. If you have no idea let the authentic travel agency book it for you.

Updates on Lukla flight 2024

Since many people visit the Everest region in the peak season, from October to November 2022, the Lukla flight has started to operate from Manthali Airport, Ramechhap in the peak seasons. In the country, the Tribhuvan International Airport and the domestic airport are just next to each other. So in these peak seasons, these airports will be overcrowded with too much air traffic in the city surroundings. It will therefore be postponed, canceled, or placed on extended holding. For that reason, the flights are all transferred to the Ramechaap airport in the peak seasons.

Lukla airport

The peak seasons for Everest expeditions or trekking are March, April, May, and October to November. In these times you will travel to Ramechaap for 4–5 hours by car from Kathmandu. If you are on your own then you need to manage the transportation for yourself. But we recommend you manage the transportation with the help of a travel agency.

Hence, we also commend that the flight from Ramechaap to Lukla will be more easy for you. From here, you can catch a flight with ease in comparison to Kathmandu. The flights to the closest airport to Mt Everest are organized by multiple domestic airlines in Nepal. They are – Tara Air, Sita Air, Summit Air, and Yeti Air. You can get more details from the travel agency or any related authorities.


In the heart of the Himalayas, Lukla Airport stands as the gateway to adventure and exploration.

Not only is Lukla the closest airport to Mt Everest, but it also marks the start of an incredible journey where the impossibly imaginable becomes a reality and dreams come true. Thus, as you say goodbye to Lukla, remember that the experiences and memories you’ve had are only the start of a lifetime love affair with the Himalayas and the inextinguishable spirit of discovery. Hence, as you gear up for your Everest expedition or trekking, remember that Lukla Airport isn’t just a stopover, it’s the starting point of an incredible journey to the top of the world.

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