Number of tourists has raised at Manthali Airport located at Ramechhap after two years of blacktopping of the runway.
After tourist season started, there has been increase in tourists travelling to Lukla from Ramechhep which results in increase flight operation at Manthali Airport.
Raj Kumar Shrestha, one of the hotel owner at Manthali stated that there is about 60 per cent increase in business along with the increase of foreign tourist travelling to Lukla of Solukhumbhu district by using the airport.
Foreigner use buses to reach from Kathmandu to Manthali and they travel from Summit Air, Tara Air and Sita Air to Lukla.
Kedar Prasad Satyal, chief of airport stated that Manthali Airport operates 5-24 flights daily. “ Mathali Airport conduct highest flight frequency after the construction completion.
Satyal informed that around 400 tourists travel Manthali daily after the airport came into operation. However, tourist have to face problem in booking tickets as Summit Air and Sita Air do not have its branch office at Manthali. Both airlines companies have been temporarily working by bringing some employees and loaders from Kathmandu.
The airline companies have started operating flights from Ramechhap as they could not operates more flight because of air traffic congestion at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA).
As per the airline companies, they can operate 3 flights from Ramechhap and only one flight from Kathmandu at same time duration.
Summit Air and Tara Air operates flights on Friday and Sita Air operates flight between Manthali-Kathmandu on Tuesday however, they do not operate according to the flight schedule.
Chief Satyal said that two years after the airport was blacktopped, the airlines do not operates flights to Manthali-Kathmandu according to the flight schedule.
Nepal Oil Corporation run fuel depot at the airport. Unfortunately, due to negligence of employee, it lacks sufficient fuel at fuel depot. Due to this, airlines are not being able to operate flights as per the demand.
The airport is situated on the bank of Tama Koshi River in Manthali, headquarters of Ramechaap District and is the closest airport of the eastern region to connect Kathmandu at an elevation of 493 m. /1617 ft. above mean sea level. The airport has Bituminous Paved (Asphalt Concrete) runway with its dimension of 520 x 20 meters aligned to 030 degrees and 210 degrees. The airport can accommodate three small aircraft like DHC6 Twin Otter, Harbin Y12, Dornier DO228, LET L410 and Cessna Grand Caravan C208 at the time.