Lukla Airport
Lukla Airport (2860m) of Nepal

Lukla Airport

This is also known as the Tenzing Hillary Airport of Nepal. A 30 minutes flight from Kathmandu will take you to Lukla.

Deepak Raj Bhatta
Author | Deepak Raj Bhatta Date Published:
Flight Landing at Lukla Airport of Nepal

Lukla airport (LUA) is located at Chaurikharka Municipality of Solukhumbu district (Province No. 1) of Nepal. This is also known as the Tenzing Hillary airport (2860m) of Nepal. A 30 minutes flight from Kathmandu will take you to Lukla. The flight to the Lukla airport of Nepal runs from Kathmandu and Ramechhap. Several airlines like Tara Airlines, Sita Airlines and Summit Airlines operate the daily flights. Perched on the side of mountains, Lukla airport is considered as the gateway to Everest.

As there is no navigation equipment, the pilots perform take-off and landing focusing exclusively visually. Tourist seasons, i.e. spring and autumn are the busiest period. One has to go through Lukla airport for the Everest expedition. The alternative Lukla consists of two alternatives: fly by helicopter (for $500), or hike through some other villages and find the transport that usually runs in Jiri, Phaplu or Salleri. This may take at least 3-4 days.

Table Of Content

    Lukla Airport Facts




    2860 m. 





    Airport Actual Name

    Tenzing-Hillary Airport

    Flight Arrival from


    Flight Departure to 


    Helicopter services


    Best months to visit

    March, April, May

    Major Activities

    Trekking, Sightseeing, Cultural Exploration

    Background of Lukla Airport

    This airport was built in 1964 by Sir Edmund Hillary with the support of “Himalayan Trust Fund Edmund Hillary”. It has been operating since September 1971. Despite its early establishment, the runway was paved in 2001. Later in 2008, on the basis of the name of the 1st climbers on Everest, it got popular as “Tenzing – Hillary Airport”.

    In the initial phase, the idea was about raising an alternative airport in Syangboche (near Namche Bazaar). The mass protest of locals against the idea was later amended with the development of Lukla Airport. Similarly, the airport’s value inclined as the certainty of the development of tourism in the Khumbu region. On one hand, the arrival of a large number of tourists threatens the ecology of Sagarmatha National Park. On the contrary, it generates a true economic benefit for the Sherpas and other residents that helps in raising the living standard.

    Lukla Airport as the most dangerous airport in the world

    Lukla airport is regarded as the deadliest airport in the world due to its altitude and geographical structure.  It is the busiest domestic airport. This airport lies at an elevation of nearly 9,338 feet (2846 meters) with a little descent before landing. It has a tiny lane of 1,729 feet long. 

    There is only one runway that slopes upward into the side of the mountain. This incline assists to slow down the landing aircraft and give speed to the aircraft taking off. Analyzing the last 10 years data, more than 20 people died in the Lukla plane crash. The major reason is poor Visibility, changes in weather conditions. It is one the deadliest airports in the world.

    Present Condition of Lukla Airport

    Year by year, the development of the airport and Khumbu area is growing gradually. The paved runway with a dimension is 527m 30 m. works for both arrival and departure. The runway designation is 06 (for landing) and 24 (for takeoff). It has a parking capacity of 4 small aircraft. Depending upon the weather, trekking and mountaineering season, the required number of flights per day took place in Lukla airport.

    Weather in Lukla

    There is no certainty of flight due to the changing environment. The flights are usually operated early in the morning. In the mid and late morning, the airport regularly closes due to the strong southwest winds. Loss of visibility, preventing planes from landing under Visual Flight Rules (VFR) results in the urgent closure of the airport without any information. The changing environment and the falling fog on the runway can result in a crash.

    Fatalities in Lukla : Possible Causes

    Lukla Airport in Nepal lies in the high altitude. Surrounded by mountains and at an altitude of 2860 m, the weather and geographical challenges are the major cause, making it the most dangerous airport in the world. The Tenzing Hillary Airport in Lukla not only has a short runway but also has weather difficulties. The sheer wind and poor visibility, air density in the high altitude, poor weather contribute to some casualties sometimes.

    However, efficient pilots and aircraft manage to make a safe landing despite the challenges. This is the major gateway to the legendary Everest base camp trek. The alternative to Lukla takes multiple days trekking all the way to Everest. But Trekkers do not prefer to trek to Lukla as it is not so popular and further trek to the top of the world becomes more problematic. 

    Lukla is a place of danger, not every time, but in poor weather conditions. The sudden changes in the weather make it uncertain and difficult. However, the flight to Lukla is still an adventurous one.

    Accommodations around Lukla Airport

    Lukla airport assists many domestic and international tourists to reach the Everest region. Lukla is now the large trekkers’ town. The area is a bit advanced regarding accommodations of western standards. Most of the locals provide homestay facilities. One can find the varieties of shops (handicrafts, dairy products, trekking requisites) over there.

    Banking and Health Facilities

    Banking transactions such as ATM and currency exchange are available. Several banks such as Rastriya Banijya Bank, Nepal Investment Bank Limited, Nepal Bank, etc. are available there. There is a community health post. Private ownership pharmacies, including medical experts, are also available.

    Although Lukla airport of Nepal is the most dangerous airport in the world, Lukla airport provides airways facilities to the trekkers around the globe. Local people gain beneficiaries either economically or socially. Hence, Lukla airport aids tourism in the country.

    Reaching Lukla by Drive

    Lukla has been a place of tremendous importance for the trekkers and mountain lovers who want to explore the Everest region of Nepal. It is the only gateway that opens up the possibilities to enter the Everest of Nepal in a short time. For now, Air accessibility is the only option apart from trekking for weeks to reach Lukla. But in the near future, Lukla could be accessible for the road transportation facilities, making it cheaper and more accessible. 

    A new road is under construction and anticipated to be completed within Dec 2022. This could transform the entire region making tourism activities wider and may enhance the development process. It could also help to uplift the lifestyle of local people and contribute more in terms of social and economic returns. 

    Lukla is an incredible touristic place in the Everest region. Every trekker who wants to trek in the Everest region must reach Lukla before embarking their adventure onwards. 

    The road will not enter the Sagarmatha National Park, considering the fact that human interference to a larger extent might harm the ecology and the habitat. However, it will make the trekking and expedition activities in the Everest region very easy and lucrative. 

    The capital of Nepal Kathmandu is linked with the Phalpu of Solukhumbu District. The Phalpu village is approximately a two days trek below the Lukla. Now, a 77 Km road linking Phalpu and Chaurikharka is being constructed which will cut the trekking time to Lukla via Phalpu in less than half.

    Hotels in Lukla

    Lukla is a popular place for trekkers in the Everest region. This place is also known as the gateway to Everest and observes a lot of visitors every year. Lukla is situated in difficult terrain. So, the only accessibility that is prominent for now is the airway. And Lukla for that is known as the world's one of the most dangerous airports. 

    Lukla is an amazing destination if you are planning to experience the thrill of Lukla Airport while exploring the amazing vistas of Mahalangur Himalayan Range and various other neighbouring mountain ranges. Also, the captivating yet thrilling sight of the geographical variations throughout the flying experience is a lifetime memory. 

    There are a few hotels that provide accommodation facilities in Lukla. Some of the popular hotels where you can reside after reaching Lukla are mentioned here. 

    Yeti Mountain Home

    Situated in a beautiful settlement of Chaurikharka in Lukla, Yeti Mountain Home is one of the best hotels in this area. This place offers lovely tranquil and attractive decor while facilitating you with the finest dining and lodging experience. Run by the professional group of Sherpas, this hotel offers the finest luxury of the mountains and a wonderful company of the natives. This hotel is a part of Thamserku group of companies. 

    La Villa Sherpani Lukla

    Situated at an altitude of 2800 m above sea level in Lukla, La Villa Sherpani is a beautiful and comfortable hotel. The peaceful atmosphere and Sherpa cultural richness wonderfully portrayed in the hotel is the best part here. This hotel offers dining and lodging experience in its finely decorated rooms and spaces. 

    Everest Summit Lodge

    Everest Summit Lodge is a popular lodge situated in Lukla. It offers a tranquil atmosphere and a spacious lawn around the place is wonderful. Also, you can witness the mountain sights and explore the Sherpa lifestyle. 

    Hikers Inn Lukla

    Hikers Inn Lukla is a popular Hotel in Lukla. Spacious rooms and dining options are the major specialities here. It is also one of the top selections among the trekkers in the Everest region of Nepal. There are various other facilities available such as a Bank, Atm, Spa, Shopping complex, free wifi, attached bathroom, suite and budget room, rooftop restaurant etc.

    Flight to Lukla From Kathmandu

    To reach Lukla, Flying is the easiest and most accessible way to reach Kathmandu. There are some domestic Airlines operating flights from Kathmandu to Lukla. Tara Airlines, Sita Airlines, and Goma Airlines operate regular flights to Lukla from Kathmandu. It takes around 25 minutes of flying time to reach Lukla from Kathmandu. 


    Cost (One Way)



    NPR 5030



    USD 180



    NPR 14670



    Flying to Lukla is not always available because of the unpredictable weather conditions. Sometimes, flights get cancelled and delayed looking after the weather favorability.

    Flight to Lukla From Manthali

    Manthali to Lukla is the fastest way to reach Lukla. The Manthali airport is situated in Ramechhap district. It takes around 15 minutes of flight time to reach Manthali from Ramechhap. Manthali Airport serves the Ramechhap district and is situated in the Tamakoshi river valley. It is located at 518 m above sea level.

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