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Kanti Khadka

Who says the best possible way to observe mountains is limited to trekking and mountaineering? Have you been dying to observe mountains up close but the terms trekking, climbing, and camping holding you back? Well, worry not! You don’t necessarily need to climb mountains in order to enjoy it or go through days of arduous trekking just because you want to enjoy these vistas up close. If you love mountains but hate trekking then Mountain flights in Nepal are the best possible ways to explore the Himalayas without trekking. 

The trip starts with the flight to Lukla from Kathmandu opening up to the astounding views of Kathmandu valley, green hills, and other spell-binding landscapes. After a few minutes on air the first range – Langtang range comes into view as the flight heads towards the mountain region. Of course, the tallest peak in the world- Mount Everest is the first to come into view followed by Ama Dablam, Lhotse, Makalu, and others.

At what time does the mountain flight begin?

The flight is usually scheduled in the morning at around 6:45 am, 7:30 am and 8:30 am. It means one has to reach the airport 1 hour prior to the flight in the morning. In the case of foggy weather, the flight might be delayed by a few hours. 

In case of flight cancellation, one will either be refunded or scheduled for the next flight. So, it’s a win-win situation. One does not have to worry about losing money in case of no mountain sightings. You will simply be refunded with transport charges deducted. That’s how the policy for mountain flights work.

When is the best time to head for mountain flights in Nepal?

Mountain flight is best recommended during the time period from February to April and October-November as it is a prime time for the clear view of the Himalayas. Hence, Swotah Travel and Adventures has been organizing this one-day activity; Mountain flight as an exhilarating experience and providing quality services for the utmost satisfaction of the travelers.

How long will the flight last?

It takes approximately 1 hrs 10 minutes to complete this once in a lifetime experience.

Where does the flight begin from? 

The flight begins from the Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) and heads towards Lukla to the east giving a striking panoramic view of the Himalayas as the plane flies over Namche Bazar, Tengboche, Syangboche, Kalapatthar, and Everest Base camp.

What if I don’t get a window seat? 

If this is your major concern, you have nothing to worry about. One is guaranteed a window seat and access to the cockpit making sure everyone gets the closest birds-eye view of Mt. Everest and the Himalayan ranges.

What to expect during the mountain flight?

Expect the unexpected! Flight in the mountains above the clouds offers mesmerizing scenes of the emerald-colored glaciers and lakes, rivers and gorges cradled in the Himalayas. You will get to observe the amazing endless series of mountains like Mt. Everest, Cho-Oyu, Lhotse, Imja Peak, Mt. Gauri Shankar, Thamserku, Kangtega, Mt. Ama Dablam, Mt. Pumori, Mt. Shisha Pangma, Mt. Nuptse, Mt Makalu, Mt. Cho Oyu, Mt. Kanchenjunga and more.

In the west, you will get to see the mighty peaks of the Dhaulagiri and the Annapurna range while far in the east lies Everest, Makalu, and Kanchenjunga.

Moreover, this exhilarating flight lets you observe 8 of the world’s tallest peaks in the world at one setting which not even a hardcore mountaineer can experience in one climb. Next, glaciers, lakes, rock formations, and alpine villages add to the beauty of the tour.

Do we fly near Mount Everest?

Yes, actually we fly slightly above Mount Everest. 

How do I know which mountain am I seeing?

You must be worried about not knowing which peaks you are seeing. Well, before the plane takes off, everyone will be provided with a map locating each mountain peaks. If you still have a problem recognizing the peaks then the air hostesses will introduce you to the peaks along with their heights from sea level.

Do all the domestic airplanes in Nepal operate mountain flights?

No, they don’t. At present, three national airlines offer Mountain flights in Nepal on a daily basis at regular intervals in the morning. Basically Yeti Airlines, Simrik Airlines, and Buddha airlines run mountain flights in Nepal. The planes usually are small 18 seaters providing everyone a window seat and a chance to enjoy the beautiful mountains. Mountain flights are operated every day throughout the year. 

Why is mountain flight getting popular in Nepal?

You don’t have to take on a difficult trek to the higher altitude. Instead, the view of the mighty massifs to its closest is possible only by the mountain flight. Mountain flight is gaining much popularity among those travelers with less physical endurance who wish to enjoy the mountains without any effort in a short time. Though the mountain flight is a little bit costly it is one of the most rewarding one-day activities.

How much does a mountain flight cost?

For Nepali: 11,500 NC per Person (Amount in Nepali Currency)

For Indian: 7,188 IC per person (Amount in Indian Currency)

For Foreigner: USD $187 per person

Can mountain flight be done from any other city?

Yes, it can be done from Pokhara also. Though not so popular, Mountain flight from Pokhara is also another option with a similar cost range to the mountain flight from Kathmandu.

For visitors trying to catch a flight from Pokhara, there are other options available such as taking a micro light flight to the Annapurna Massif with splendid views of the Annapurna range and Machhapuchre among them.  

How can I book a Mountain flight in Nepal?

It is easy to take a mountain flight in Nepal. All you’ve got to do is buy a ticket and you will be taken on an hour-long flight flying over some of the Himalayan peaks, flaunting brilliantly splendid views of glaciers and high altitude lakes. Otherwise, you can also save all the trouble and let the travel agents take care of it for you.  

The full list of mountains seen on Mountain flight

  • Everest (8848 m)
  • Lhotse ( 8516 m)
  • Makalu (8463 m)
  • Cho-Oyo (8201 m)
  • Shisha Pangma (8013 m)
  • Nuptse (7855 m)
  • Gyachung Kang (7652 m)
  • Chamlang (7319 m)
  • Langtang Lirung (7234 m)
  • Melungtse (7181 m)
  • Pumori (7161 m)
  • Gauri Shankar (7134 m)
  • Dorje – Lakpa (6966 m)
  • Numbur (6957 m)
  • Ama Dablam (6812 m)
  • Phurbi – Ghyachu (6637 m)
  • Pigferago (6620 m)
  • Karyolung (6511 m)
  • Chugimago (6297 m)
  • Choba -Bhamre (5970 m)

Basic overview of the Everest Base Camp Mountain flight itinerary

Phase 1: Kathmandu – Lukla (Fueling)

Flight Time: 45 Minutes 

Ground Time: 5 Minutes

Phase 2: Lukla – Everest Base Camp (Kalapatthar)

Flight Time: 25 Minutes 

Ground Time: 7-10 Minutes

Phase 3: Everest Base Camp (Kalapatthar) – Syangboche

Flight Time: 15 Minutes  

Ground Time: 30 Minutes

Phase 4:  Syangboche – Lukla – Kathmandu

Flight Time: 1 hrs 10 minutes

1 PM: Kathmandu Heritage Sightseeing

6 PM: Back to Hotel