International conference on

Addressing Poverty and Vulnerability in the Hindu Kush Himalayas

Forging regional partnerships to enable 
transformative change 

Organized by National Planning Commission, Nepal and ICIMOD 

Kathmandu, Nepal

1–4 December 2013 

Travel Advice

If you have a window seat

You will most likely get a good view of the Himalaya before landing in Kathmandu. If you are coming from the west (Europe, Middle East, Delhi, get a window seat, away from the wing, on the left side. If you are coming from the east (Calcutta, Dhaka, South East Asia, East Asia), then get a window seat on the right side. 

If you are coming from Bangladesh

There are nonstop flights from Dhaka on Biman Bangladesh and United Airways Bangladesh.

If you are coming from Bhutan

Druk Air flies from Paro to Kathmandu. Alternatively, you can travel to Baghdogra, India, cross the border into Nepal and fly to Kathmandu from Bhadrapur (Buddha Air or Yeti Airlines). 

If you are coming from China

There are direct flights to Kathmandu from Chengdu via Lhasa (Air China), Kunming (China Eastern) or Guangzhou (China Southern). If you are coming from another city you will have to connect to these flights. You might also consider flights via Hong Kong on Dragon Air.

If you are coming from India

There are nonstop flights to Kathmandu from Delhi (Air India, Jet Airways, IndiGo, Spicejet), Kolkata (Air India), Varanasi (Air India, Buddha Air), and Mumbai (Jet Airways). If you are coming from another city you will most likely find a good connection through Delhi. 

If you are coming from Southeast Asia

There are daily flights from Bangkok (Thai Airways and Nepal Airlines), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia Airlines, AirAsiaX, and Nepal Airlines), Hong Kong (Dragon Air and Nepal Airlines) and Singapore (Silk Air, 5 times a week). For reliability we advise against flying Nepal Airlines. If you are coming from Singapore and the Silk Air flight is full, consider connecting in Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur. If you are coming from Manila, your best connections are likely through Guangzhou, Hong Kong, or Bangkok. 

If you are coming from Japan or Korea

Korean Air flies nonstop from Seoul to Kathmandu on Mondays and Fridays. On other days, your best connections are through Hong Kong (on Cathay Pacific & Dragon Air). Guangzhou (on China Southern) or Bangkok (on Thai Airways)

If you are coming from Pakistan

Pakistan International has flights from Karachi and Islamabad on certain days of the week. Alternatively you could come with a one-stop connection the Persian Gulf, for example via Doha (Qatar Airways), Abu Dhabi (Etihad) or Muscat (Oman Air).

If you are coming from the Middle East

Due to the large number of Nepali workers in the Gulf, Kathmandu is very well connected to the Gulf region, with daily or multiple daily flights to Bahrain, Doha, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ras AI Khaimah, and Muscat. 

Note: Kathmandu is one of the few cities in Asia that does not have flights on Emirates, but only on its low-cost subsidiary Fly Dubai. For the best in-flight experience, consider Etihad, Oman Air or Qatar. For the cheapest tickets consider Fly Dubai, Air Arabia, or RAK Air. 

If you are coming from Africa

If Qatar Airways, Gulf Air, or Air Arabia fly from your home airport then they will provide the best connections to Kathmandu. If they don't then consider flying Ethiopian Airlines or Kenya Airways to Delhi, and connect there onto Jet Airways. Note that Jet Airways is better equipped to interline luggage than Air India, so that should be your preferred connecting airline from Delhi to Kathmandu. 

If you are coming from Europe

Due to t he large number of one-stop flight connections offered by Middle Eastern airlines, there are no more direct flights from Europe to Nepal (except charters from Amsterdam). 

Usually your best connections are the one-stops through the Middle East, especially on Qatar Airways through Doha, on Etihad through Abu Dhabi, on Oman Air through Muscat, or on Gulf Air through Bahrain. 

Alternatively, you could fly a European airline to Delhi and connect from there on Jet Airways, but do note that international-to-international flight connection procedures at Delhi are more tedious than at many other international airports. Also note that Jet Airways has a better reputation for interlining luggage than Air India, so that should be your preferred connecting airline from Delhi to Kathmandu. 

If you are coming from Canada

Your easiest connections are probably on Cathay Pacific from Toronto or Vancouver via Hong Kong, on Korean Air from Toronto or Vancouver via Seoul, or on Qatar Airways from Montreal via Doha. You could also connect via USA or Europe (see appropriate sections). 

If you are coming from the United States, and you have restrictions due to Federal Funds 

If you are traveling on a federal grant and have to abide by the Fly-America Act, you would need to fly as far as possible on an American flag carrier or its code-share, or on one of the EU airlines that is exempt from Fly-America restrictions. No US airline flies to Nepal. Thus your choices include the following: 

  • Fly United or Delta to Hong Kong or Bangkok, and connect from there to Kathmandu on Dragon Air or Thai. 
  • Fly United to Doha or Bahrain, and connect from there on Qatar Airways or Gulf Air. 
  • Fly United's nonstop from Newark to Delhi, or American Airlines' nonstop from Chicago to Delhi, and connect from there to Kathmandu on Jet Airways. Note that international-to-international flight connection procedures at Delhi are more tedious than at many other international airports. Also note that Jet Airways has a better reputation for interlining luggage than Air India, so that should be your preferred airline from Delhi to Kathmandu. 
  • Fly Lufthansa, Swiss, Air France or some other exempt European airline to Delhi, and connect from there on Jet Airways. Note that international-to-international flight connection procedures at Delhi are more tedious than at many other international airports. Also note that Jet Airways has a better reputation for interlining luggage than Air India, so that should be your preferred airline from Delhi to Kathmandu. 

If you are coming from the United States and don't have airline restrictions 

Any of the connections above would work, but you may be more comfortable on the following options: 

  • Fly Cathay Pacific from New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles to Hong Kong, and connect to the Dragon Air flight to Kathmandu. Cathay Pacific is an OneWorld partner with American Airlines. 
  • Fly Qatar Airways from New York, Washington, Houston, or Chicago, with a stop in Doha. Flights to Doha take 12-14 hours. Doha to Kathmandu takes 4 hours. Typically connection times in Doha are 5-7 hours. You can use the Oryx lounge at Doha airport for USD 40 to access comfortable seating, free food, and showers. 
  • Fly Korean Air from New York, Washington, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, Seattle, San Francisco, or los Angeles via Seoul. Note though that flights to Kathmandu operate only on Fridays and Mondays. Korean Air is a Sky Team partner with Delta. 

You might also find good fares on Emirates (from New York, Washington, Houston, San Francisco, or Los Angeles), with short connection times in Dubai. Note though that Emirates' B777 aircraft have tighter 10-across seating (compared to 9-across in most other airlines), and the connection from Dubai to Kathmandu is on its low-cost subsidiary Fly Dubai.

Co-organized by