Flight delays and cancellation in Nepal
Owing to its demanding geographical location and climatic variation, domestic flights in Nepal are prone to delays and cancellations. The Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu lacks the technology to deal with take-offs and landings during adverse weather conditions such as heavy rain, fog, and strong winds. This leads to inevitable flight delays and cancellations.
The best trekking season in Nepal is autumn, September to November, (for more about this, read our Trekking Seasons page) when the weather is clear, dry and stable. Fortunately, at this time of year flight delays and cancellations are rare because there is little weather interference. However, during other seasons and particularly in summer this is not the case. The monsoon from June to August brings strong winds, rain, and heavy clouds which make the view unclear and flying unsafe. Winter fog is also common, delaying flights and causing problems in the cold months.
Because of all these factors, it is recommended for travellers to allow one or two days of lenience in their schedule in case flights are cancelled or delayed for long periods. For some domestic destinations land transportation is available, but if you are going to Lukla for example there is not really another option except flying. Bear this in mind if you have a tight itinerary, and discuss this with your tour advisor in advance to avoid any nasty surprises.
(Note: Travel Insurance is highly recommended for tourists coming to Nepal. In the event of flight cancellations, there are expensive options such as chartering a helicopter or a private plane, which can sometimes be reclaimed through your insurance company.)