How to go to Ramechhap Airport from Kathmandu
by Jayaram Thapaliya · Updated April 9, 2023
Are you planning to trek in the Everest region, such as the Everest Base Camp Trek, the Everest Three Passes Trek, or the Gokyo Lake Trek? If so, please note that currently, there are no direct flights to and from Lukla. Instead, flights are operating from Manthali Airport, also known as Ramechhap Airport, which is located 132km from Kathmandu and requires road transfer. In this post, I will explain how to easily reach Ramechhap Airport from Kathmandu.
Ramechhap Airport, also known as Manthali Airport, is located approximately 132 kilometers east of Kathmandu City. These days, there are no direct flights from Kathmandu to Lukla, and flights to Lukla are operating from Ramechhap/Manthali Airport. Hence, you have to reach Ramechhap Airport early in the morning in order to catch a flight to Lukla. Here are a few options to travel from Kathmandu to Manthali Airport.
Kathmandu – Ramechhap Airport – Kathmandu by Private Vehicle:
Although private vehicles cost more than public/shared transportation, they offer more comfort than public transportation. You can hire a private vehicle (such as a car, jeep, Scorpio, Hiace, or van) from Kathmandu or Kathmandu Airport to reach Ramechhap Airport. The driving distance is not too far, but it takes approximately 4 to 5 hours to reach Ramechhap Airport from Kathmandu via the BP Highway. For a private car, it costs around USD 100, for a jeep USD 150, and for a Hiace USD 180.
Kathmandu – Ramechhap Airport – Kathmandu by Public Bus:
You can take a public bus from Kathmandu’s Old Bus Park to reach Manthali Bus Park. From the Manthali Bus Park, you can take either a taxi or a local bus to reach Ramechhap Airport. Taking public transportation, the journey takes around 6-7 hours depending on traffic conditions.
What are the Benefits of Flying from Ramechhap to Lukla?
There are some pros and cons of having a flight from Manthali Airport (Ramechhap Airport), and they are as follows:
1) Higher Chance of Getting Fly, Ramechhap – Lukla – Ramechhap:
Besides bad weather that can cause flight delays and cancellations, traffic congestion at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu is another factor that can delay flights to KTM-LUA-KTM, including other flights. Flight cancellations and delays can create problems in your travel itinerary and may require additional days for your trip. From Kathmandu to Lukla, flight cancellations due to bad weather are normal.
Unlike Kathmandu to Lukla, the Ramechhap-Lukla-Ramechhap flight has a higher chance of operating. 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. Moreover, Ramechhap Airport is only for operating Lukla flights. Regardless of the limited number of aircraft, more flights can operate when the weather is good.
2) Economy than Kathmandu – Lukla – Kathmandu :
Ramechhap Airport to Lukla Airport, as well as Lukla Airport to Ramechhap Airport, flights are somehow cheaper than Kathmandu-Lukla-Kathmandu flight fares. Flying from Ramechhap to Lukla is more economical. One-way flight from Kathmandu to Lukla for a foreigner costs approximately USD 180, while airfare from Ramechhap to Lukla is just USD 150. Hence, you will save USD 30 per flight. However, as we have to use road transportation, there will be expenses of approximately USD 20 for road transport if you use public transportation.
Cons of Ramechhap to Lukla Flight:
As you have to reach the airport 1 hour earlier for the flight, you have to start your journey to Ramechhap Airport early in the morning. You will be leaving around 1:30 am for Ramechhap to catch a flight to Lukla. But if you don’t want to compromise your goodnight’s sleep, you can travel to Ramechhap a day prior to your scheduled flight and stay overnight at a nearby hotel at Ramechhap Airport.