How to Fly into Nepal -Best Way to Nepal by Flight

How to Fly into Nepal -Best Way to Nepal by Flight

By Carol WangUpdated May. 14, 2021

Tribhuvan International Airport is the only international airport in Nepal, located in the east of Kathmandu. There aren’t many direct flights to Nepal from outside Asia. That is to say, getting a flight to Nepal must be done as a connecting flight. It usually requires a stop in the Middle East or Asia, which can sometimes be a stressful experience, especially if the connections have long waiting times.

In the Middle East, direct flights to Nepal are mainly from the UAE, Pakistan, and Qatar. The major airlines are Air Arabia, flydubai, and Qatar Airways.

There are a large number of flights from Asian countries to Nepal, which mainly include Thailand, Cambodia, Singapore, Malaysia, and Korea. The major airlines are AirAsia, Air India, Malaysia Airlines, and Air China.

If you travel from a country further than the Middle East, it is suggested to go via India or China as there are more frequent connecting flights from these two countries than from anywhere else in Asia.

Quick Facts

  • There is only one international airport in Nepal — Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu.
  • There are no direct flights to Nepal from North America, Europe, and Australia. It is suggested to get connecting flights in the Middle East or Asia.
  • Direct flights depart frequently from overseas countries to Delhi and Mumbai so it is a good idea to arrive in India prior to Kathmandu.
  • Nepal has a unique mountain flight departing from Kathmandu daily. This is in a small airplane to see Mount Everest.
  • The peak season for going to Nepal is October and November. Flights are in high demand and are costly.

Flying from North America

If you take a flight from the West Coast in the US, it is efficient to fly to Nepal via Guangzhou in China. The airlines that operate these flights are China Southern Airlines or multiple airlines operated by American Airlines. Expect to spend 20 to 24 hours on airplanes.

From the East Coast, it is quicker to fly via Doha or Dubai with a carrier, such as Qatar Airways or Emirates. Expect to spend 18 to 22 hours on airplanes.

Seasonal considerations decide the prices. From both the East Coast and the West Coast, prices are about US$1,000–1,500.

Flying from Europe

There are no direct flights from Europe to Kathmandu either; however, flights take less time than the flights from America. Departing from Eastern Europe, the shortest duration on an airplane is about 12 to 14 hours via Doha, Dubai, or Oman.

The operating airlines are Qatar Airways, Emirates, and Oman Air. The flights from the UK are normally available via multiple airlines operated by British Airways.Flight fares are seasonal, with an average cost of US$600–1,000.

Flights via Southeast Asia, such as Singapore or Thailand, are not suggested because you’ll have to double back from Bangkok or Singapore.

Flying from Australia and New Zealand

Flying to Nepal from Australia or New Zealand always means traveling to Southeast Asia with a stopover en route. Flights frequently depart to Kathmandu from Singapore, Bangkok, and Kuala Lumpur. The total flight time from Australia to Kathmandu is about 16 to 19 hours.

Malaysia Airlines and Singapore Airlines provide affordable flights depending on the time of year, with an average cost of US$1,000. Prices in the low season could be about US$600.

Flying from India

Many travelers combine Nepal with a trip to India. You may find many direct flights to Delhi from major cities in North America and Europe but there are currently no flights from Australia. Flight fares seem good, ranging from US$700–900 seasonally.

It is wise to purchase a separate onward ticket from Delhi to Kathmandu. The flights from Delhi to Kathmandu are offered at a very good rate of US$65 all year round and only take 1½ hours.

Flying between Delhi and Kathmandu, you will be rewarded with Himalayan views. Air India, Jet Airways, IndiGo, and Nepal Airlines all serve this route.

Another option for an international airport in India is Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai. It is also accessible via flights from both America and Europe. The direct flights from Mumbai to Kathmandu cost US$85 with a duration of 2½ hours.

Mountain Flights — Fly Within Nepal

Taking a mountain flight is a popular thing to do in Kathmandu. The airplane flies higher than some of the Himalayan peaks so you will be able to explore the most beautiful mountain range, glaciers, high altitude lakes, and the world’s highest mountain — Mount Everest. The pilot will invite each passenger into the cockpit to take pictures of Mount Everest through the large windscreen.

The flight takes off at Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu. There are 20 to 30 flights daily for the Everest Express. Flights depart early in the morning between 06:00 and 09:30 with a journey duration of about 50 minutes. No flights are available in the afternoon.

Three airlines mainly provide this trip. They are Buddha Air, Yeti Airlines, and Simrik Air. We have gathered the following information for your reference.

Airline First Departure Last Departure Flights Daily Aircraft Capacity
Buddha Air 06:30 08:00 11 Beechcraft 1900
ATR 42-320
ATR 72-500
19
24
6
Yeti Airlines 06:30 07:45 6 Beechcraft 1900 19
Simrik Air 07:00 09:30 6 Beechcraft 1900 19

 

  • The departure times above are just for reference. They vary in different months. Please ask your travel advisor to quote a firm price before booking.
  • The aircraft are arranged at random by each airline so they don’t accept specified bookings.
  • The airfare ranges between US$190 and 220. Please ask your travel advisor for a firm price.

Simrik Air mainly deals with helicopter tours. Yeti Airlines is a leader of domestic flights. Buddha Air is recommended based on our customers’ reviews. It was said to be the first airline to start the real Everest mountain flights in Nepal in its quality Beechcraft aircraft.

Airfares and Bookings

Flight tickets will be in high demand in the peak season in Nepal, which falls from October to November and from February to March. During these months, flights to Kathmandu always fill up months ahead and, as you know, this is the only international airport in Nepal. It is better to plan months in advance to secure decent flight tickets. Please kindly note that Christmas Day is also considered a peak time.

The airfares depend on the time of year. Prices are high during the peak season but in other seasons, the airfares are calculated differently by each airline. Based on our customers’ experiences, a few airlines will offer special rates if you can be flexible with your dates.

If you prefer to go with reputable local airlines, a flight with American Airlines costs about US$2,000 while flights with British Airways and Air France normally cost about US$1,300.

On Arrival

Lonely Planet stated that: “In 2014, Tribhuvan was voted the third worst airport in the world”. Passengers described the arrivals hall as disorderly most of the time. But the stunning country is waiting for you just outside.

You have to get a Visa on Arrival if you have not arranged a tourist visa before entering. Go ahead to the immigration area where you will be required to complete a Visa on Arrival form. After completing the form, you will need to go to the next counter to pay the visa fee.

The preferred currency for payment is US dollars. Kept the receipt for the visa fee. Go to the next counter where you will need to hand over all of the papers, photos, and the receipt. Your Visa on Arrival will be issued there.

A currency exchange window is available near the visa fee counter. Keep the exchange receipt because this can help you to convert unspent Nepalese Rupees back to your original currency when you leave.

After the visa process, your bags will have been circulating for a while. Keep the luggage tag as you may be asked to show it when exiting. After claiming your luggage, some porter services will be available for an inexpensive price. Small denominations of Nepalese Rupees will be needed.

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Searching for flights to Nepal is not an easy task. Leave it to us! Our professional travel advisors will carefully select your flight time. They will advise you with plenty of information about the arrival, visa, transit issues, and transfer suggestions in the city.

Plan a Nepal trip with us and you won’t have to worry about any problems during your tour.

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