Mountain Flight in Nepal
Mountain flight is one of the major attractions in Nepal. This is the most sold optional activity in Kathmandu by many tour operators and travel agencies. The scenic flights start in Kathmandu airport and take to see the top of the world Mount Everest and take back to Kathmandu. The flight gives opportunity to observe the snowcapped mountain from the window of the plane. There are different other peaks visible besides the Everest but the major attraction is Everest so even the flight is named Everest flight from Kathmandu. The flight covers part of Langtang range and Everest range. The major peaks visible during the flight are Langtang Lirung (7234m.), Shisapagma (8091m.), Dorje-Lakpa (6,966 m.), Phurbighyachu (6,637 m.), ChobaBhamare (5,960 m.), GauriShankar (7,134 m.), Melungtse (7,181 m.), Numbur (6,957 m.), Cho-yu (8,201 m.), Pumori (7,161 m.), Nuptse (7,855 m.), Mount Everest (8,848 m.) and Lhotse (8,516 m.). Every passenger gets a guaranteed window seat for the better view of the mountains and takes nice pictures. Normally doing this activity will not disturb your day itinerary but you have to start early as flights are operated in the morning.
Mountain Flight Price
The price depends with the airlines and season as high season the price hikes little bit and popular airlines charge little bit extra than other new comers. Current price of the flight is $180 per person for the flight ticket and there will be extra cost for airport transfer from your hotel to airport and airport to hotel. The price includes the airport tax and they also provide a certificate that you have done the flight after completion of the flight. Some airlines sell T-shirt and mountain flight picture book on board. You might carry extra cash to enjoy tea coffee meantime you are waiting in the airport before boarding the flight.
Mountain Flight timing
The flight normally takes 45 minutes to one hour to complete the whole route. The flight is operated in the mornings as the mountains are clear early in the morning. The mountain area is windy by the afternoon so no noon flights are possible. Depending with how many people book the trip every airline operates two or even three rounds of flights.
Factors that controls Mountain flight
This is the scenic flight to see the mountains so the crucial factor to operate the flight is weather in the mountain. If the weather is not good the flights get cancelled. The second important factor is Kathmandu airport especially in the winter. In winter time Kathmandu airport is foggy in the morning, so even the mountains are clear it is very difficult to take off the flights in the first hour so the flights get delayed frequently. In the rainy season like July, August there is often a dense cloud in the lower part of the mountains. The peaks are visible but you could see the blanket of cloud or fog in the lower part of the snowcapped peaks.
Best months to do the flights
Mountain flights are popular throughout the year but still some months are better than other month or time of the year. Normally the winter months in Nepal like from November to February and post winter months of March April are considered best months to do the mountain flights. As during winter months the temperature at the night time goes drastically down everything condensed which results the spectacular reflection of the snow. As snow stabilizes post winter months are also very good to do this flight.
If the flight gets cancelled due to weather reason or any other technical reason by airlines they will refund 100% but make sure to stamp on your flight ticket or reservation document in the respective airlines counter before leaving the airport. Once the flights are operated and you get certificate they charge for the flights. Any complaints regarding flights you talk to attending pilot and hostess on board, once you come out no complains entertained. If the flights get cancel due to weather you can reschedule for next day if you wish to do that.
Type of airplane for Mountain Flight
The different airline companies have different fleet of aircraft and it also depends with number of passenger book for the particular day to take the flight. The fleets’ uses by different companies are:
ATR 72-500, ATR 42-320 and BEECH 1900D, all the aircrafts has modern avionics, instruments and airframe which are in a modern jetliners. The seating capacities for mountain flights are 16 for BEECH 1900D and 24 and 36 for ATR 42-320 and ATR 72-500 respectively.
Yeti airlines also uses ATR 72-500, which is twin engine turbo prop powered by two Pratt and Whitney PW 127 engine with seating capacity of 36 passenger for the mountain flight. Another type of aircraft use by Yeti Airlines is Jetstream 41 with two 1230 KW (1650 SHP), Honeywell TPE331-14, GR/HR turboprop engine with five blade propellers with seating capacity of 18 passengers during the mountain flights.
How to book this flight
We can book this flight in advance upon your request and make it part of the itinerary in your tour program or you can decide once you arrive to Kathmandu and we will arrange accordingly. It does not affect your tour itinerary but you have to wake up early to do this flight. You can catch your day program after the flight. If you are travelling in a group and if the flight gets delayed with any reason you might lose part of the program as the group might have their prefixed sightseeing starting early and we cannot make the group waiting for individuals. If the tour is private to you we are flexible to cover all the itineraries which are included in your trip.
Alternative to the mountain flight to see the Everest
The helicopter tour to Everest Base Camp is another best choice to see the Everest. Normally flying in a helicopter you can get a closer approach to see this giant mountain. The helicopter trip is expensive than regular mountain flight. If you have time and if you love to walk we recommend doing Everest base camp trek as it has many days and many different places and angles to see the Mount Everest and many other peaks of the area.
Mountain Flights from Pokhara
There is no regular sharing trip from Pokhara which take people to see the mountains. If you are in a group they are happy to operate the chartered flight. As mountains are very near from Pokhara, sharing helicopter to Annapurna is affordable and cost around $300 per person with landing at Annapurna Base Camp. There are environmental and business issues so instead of helicopter landing to Annapurna base camp it lands at Mardi Himal Base camp. The trip has gone still cheaper.