Tribhuvan International Airport

Tribhuvan International Airport
त्रिभुवन अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय विमानस्थल
Airport type Public
Operator Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN)
Serves Kathmandu, Nepal
Hub for
Elevation AMSL 4,390 ft / 1,338 m
Coordinates 27°41′47″N 085°21′32″E / 27.69639°N 85.35889°E / 27.69639; 85.35889Coordinates: 27°41′47″N 085°21′32″E / 27.69639°N 85.35889°E / 27.69639; 85.35889

Location within Nepal

Direction Length Surface
m ft
02/20 3,050 10,007 concrete
Statistics (2015 [1])
Passengers 3.21 million
Passenger change 2014-15 Decrease8.37%
Aircraft movements 26,563
Movements change 2014-15 Decrease2.37%
Sources: CAAN[2] and DAFIF[3][4]

Tribhuvan International Airport (Nepali: त्रिभुवन अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय विमानस्थल, IATA: KTM, ICAO: VNKT) is an international airport in Kathmandu, Nepal. The airport is about six kilometres from the city centre, in the Kathmandu valley. It is the sole international airport in Nepal, though Nijgadh International Airport has been proposed as a second. The airport served as an airfield since 1949, and was inaugurated in 1955 by King Mahendra. It received its current name in 1964. Originally a grass runway, it was re-laid in concrete in 1957 and has been extended several times. The first jet aircraft landed at Tribhuvan in 1967 and regular jet operations commenced in 1972.

The airport has one domestic and one international terminal. In 2015, the airport handled 3.21 million passengers, down 8.37% from 2014.[5] At present, about 30 international airlines connect Nepal to destinations in Asia and the Middle East, and the airport serves as a hub for several Nepalese airlines. In 2001, Royal Nepal Airlines discontinued their flights to Frankfurt and London, which severed Nepal's direct air links with Europe. Recently, Turkish Airlines launched direct flights from Istanbul to Kathmandu, re-establishing Nepal's connection with continental Europe. The Nepalese government has also recently announced that agreements have been made with Air New Zealand, Vietnam Airlines, and El Al to schedule direct flights to Kathmandu from Auckland, Hanoi, and Tel Aviv respectively (not limited to codeshare flights).


The airport was originally named Gauchaur Airport, after the area of Kathmandu where it was situated. The formal beginning of aviation in Nepal occurred in 1949, with the landing of a Beechcraft Bonanza aircraft, carrying the Indian ambassador. The first charter flight took place between Gauchaur and Calcutta, in a Himalayan Aviation Dakota on 20 February 1950.[6]

In 1955 the airport was inaugurated by King Mahendra and renamed Tribhuvan Airport in memory of the king's father. The airport was again renamed Tribhuvan International Airport in 1964. The original grass runway was re-laid in concrete in 1957 and extended from 3,750 feet (1,140 m), to 6,600 feet (2,000 m) in 1967. The runway was again extended from 6,600 feet (2,000 m) to 10,000 feet (3,000 m) in 1975.[6]

The first jet aircraft to land at Tribhuvan was a Lufthansa Boeing 707 in 1967.[6] Royal Nepal Airlines Corporation commenced jet operations at the airport in 1972 with Boeing 727 aircraft.[6]

In May 2007, Austrian Airlines discontinued their flight to Vienna, which severed Nepal's direct air links with Europe.[7] Since September 2013, Turkish Airlines launched direct flights from Istanbul to Kathmandu, re-establishing Nepal's connection with continental Europe.[8]


The airport has a single 10,007 feet (3,050 m) concrete runway orientated 02/20. There is no instrument landing system available.[9] The airport has two public terminals—one for international and one for domestic traffic. It also has a terminal for VIP guests. There are some tea shops outside the airport. There are few ATMs for drawing money.

Radisson Hotel Kathmandu operates an executive lounge for first and business class passengers for some airlines and Thai Airways International operates a business lounge for its business-class passengers, as well as Star Alliance Gold card holders.

Airlines and destinations

Operations building
Aerial view
Nepal Airlines maintains its hub at the airport
Air Arabia Ras al Khaimah, Sharjah International
AirAsia X Kuala Lumpur–International International
Air China Chengdu, Lhasa International
Air India Delhi, Kolkata, Varanasi International
Bhutan Airlines Delhi, Paro International
Biman Bangladesh Airlines Dhaka International
Buddha Air Bhadrapur, Bhairahawa, Bharatpur, Biratnagar, Dhangadhi, Janakpur, Nepalgunj, Pokhara, Simara, Tumlingtar Domestic
Buddha Air Gaya, Varanasi International
Cathay Dragon Hong Kong, Dhaka International
China Eastern Airlines Kunming International
China Southern Airlines Guangzhou International
Druk Air Delhi, Thimphu/Paro International
Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi International
flydubai Dubai-Al Maktoum, Dubai-International International
Himalaya Airlines Colombo, Doha International
IndiGo Delhi International
Jet Airways Delhi, Mumbai International
Korean Air Seoul-Incheon International
Malaysia Airlines Kuala Lumpur–International International
Malindo Air Kuala Lumpur–International International
Nepal Airlines Bhadrapur, Bhojpur, Biratnagar, Chaurjahari and Rukumkot, Dhangadhi Lamidanda, Lukla, Phaplu, Pokhara, Rumjatar, Tumlingtar Domestic
Nepal Airlines Bangalore, Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Delhi, Doha, Dubai–International, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur–International, Mumbai International
Oman Air Muscat International
Qatar Airways Doha International
Regent Airways Dhaka (begins 21 December 2016)[10] International
Saurya Airlines Bhairahawa, Bharatpur, Biratnagar, Dhangadhi, Nepalgunj Domestic
Sichuan Airlines Chengdu International
Silk Air Singapore International
Simrik Airlines Bhairahawa, Jomsom, Lukla, Pokhara, Simara Domestic
Sita Air Biratnagar, Dang, Dhangadhi, Janakpur, Jomsom, Lukla, Nepalgunj, Pokhara, Tumlingtar Domestic
Tara Air Bhojpur, Lamidanda, Lukla, Nepalgunj, Phaplu, Ramechhap Domestic
Thai Airways Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi International
Turkish Airlines Istanbul-Atatürk International
Yeti Airlines Bhadrapur, Bhairahawa, Bharatpur, Biratnagar, Dhangadhi, Janakpur, Nepalgunj, Pokhara, Tumlingtar Domestic
US-Bangla Airlines Dhaka International

Ground transportation

Sajha Yatayat buses connect the airport to city centre, with the last around 18:00. Meter and pre paid taxis are available at both terminals at all hours.

Incidents and accidents

See also


  1. "INT'L PASSENGER TRAFFIC DROPS FOR FIRST TIME IN 13 YEARS". The Kathmandu Post. 5 April 2016. Retrieved 11 April 2016.
  2. "Tribhuvan International Airport". Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007.
  3. Airport information for VNKT at World Aero Data. Data current as of October 2006.Source: DAFIF.
  4. Airport information for KTM / VNKT at Great Circle Mapper. Source: DAFIF (effective October 2006).
  5. "Intl passenger traffic drops for first time in 13 years". The Kathmandu Post. 5 April 2016. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  6. 1 2 3 4 Administrator. "Chronology". Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  7. "Austrian bids farewell to the 737", Airliner World, June 2013: p6
  8. Medyasoft (c) 2012. "International Flight Destinations & Special Offers – Turkish Airlines". Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  9. "Kathmandu – Tribhuvan Airport (KTM/VNKT)". Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  11. Harro Ranter (10 May 1973). "ASN Aircraft accident Douglas DC-8-33 HS-TGU Kathmandu-Tribhuvan Airport (KTM)". Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  12. Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 18 November 2006.
  13. Harro Ranter (7 July 1999). "ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 727-243F VT-LCI Kathmandu". Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  14. Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 18 November 2006.
  15. The Aviation Herald. Retrieved 26 December 2008.
  16. "Nepal tourist plane crash kills 14". BBC News. 24 August 2010.
  17. "All 14 killed in Nepal plane crash". The Times of India. 24 August 2010.
  18. Sanjaya Dhakal BBC Nepali (28 September 2012). "BBC News – Nepal plane crash kills 19 at Kathmandu". Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  19. Saul, Heather (4 March 2015). "Turkish Airlines flight TK 726 crash-lands on Nepal runway in dense fog". The Independent. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  20. "TIA to remain closed until 10 am Friday". 5 March 2015. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  21. Pokharel, Krishna (4 March 2015). "Turkish Airlines Jet Veers Off Runway in Nepal". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 4 March 2015.

External links

Media related to Tribhuvan International Airport at Wikimedia Commons

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