June 25, 2023: In a span of two months, the Tenzing Hillary Airport also known as Lukla which is the main airport in the Everest region has witnessed a total of 6,693 takeoffs and landings. During the months of April and May, Lukla Airport saw 1,474 flights, including 1,774 airplanes and 5,220 helicopters. The spring season is considered the best time for Mount Everest expeditions and trekking in the Khumbu region. Tourists interested in visiting these areas have been focusing on flight services provided by various airplane and helicopter companies in the Everest region. Helicopters transport tourists to popular destinations such as Namche, Kongde, Gokyo Lake, Everest Base Camp, and Kalapatthar. Additionally, helicopters are used for rescue operations in case of emergencies or for assisting trekkers experiencing fatigue or illness.
According to Lukla Airport Office records, a total of 47,800 passengers were transported by airplanes and helicopters in April and May. Among them, while 17,000 passengers landed at Lukla, 26,654 passengers flew from Lukla to various destinations, including Ramechhap and Kathmandu. The remaining passengers were either transported by airplanes to Lukla or by helicopters for their return journeys.
Cargo transport has also been significant at Lukla Airport. In April, 49,181 kilograms of cargo were airlifted by airplanes, while 94,663 kilograms of cargo were transported from Lukla. Similarly, in May, 178,119 kilograms of cargo arrived at Lukla, and 77,865 kilograms of cargo were transported from the airport, according to the airport office.
Lukla Airport, known as the busiest “stol” (short takeoff and landing) airport in the country, remains bustling throughout the season, serving domestic and international tourists who embark on expeditions, trekking, and mountaineering activities in the Sagarmatha region. During the spring season, the airport witnesses the highest number of flight operations. On certain days, there were as many as 412 flights in a single day, comprising 316 helicopter flights and 96 airplane flights on April 3. Similarly, on April 2, there were 252 helicopter flights and 44 airplane flights, totaling 352 takeoffs and landings. On April 4, 356 flights were operated, including 235 helicopter flights and 121 airplane flights.
On April 10, there were 360 flights, consisting of 260 helicopter flights and 100 airplane flights. Similarly, on April 13, a total of 357 flights were operated, including 279 helicopter flights and 78 airplane flights. These statistics demonstrate the high volume of flight operations at Lukla Airport during the spring season.