Low-Cost Airlines: Journey off the Rock

CONTRIBUTED BY KATRINA RAYMOND

In the past year there have been numerous airlines that have embraced Okinawa with its presence.  In 2011 the cost of airfare to Mainland Japan could be anywhere from $200-400 each just to go to Tokyo. The times are changing and new airlines are springing up often offering deals for that getaway to Asia. Currently there are about 8 airlines that offer cost affordable deals to get off the island. Whether it is to Mainland (Tokyo or Osaka) or throughout Australia, Asia, Malaysia, Indonesia there is an airline for you. You may be only overseas once so take advantage of the low fares that are out there and see the world.

Here are some airlines that offer as low as 2,900 yen fares. Best fares are published 120 days from departure and most low cost airlines won’t let you even book out that far.

LOWCOST AIRLINES FROM OKINAWA

Air Peach – Okinawa to Osaka daily, also flies to Sapporo, Taipei and Hong Kong via Osaka
Air Asia –  Okinawa to Narita daily, this airline is huge and offers flights all over the world. As low as $600 to Australia
Jetstar –  Okinawa to Narita or Osaka, airline offers numerous other flights all over Asia. 6,500 yen flights available to most locations.
Skymark – multiple Japan destinations from Okinawa.
Solaseed – Offers 10,000 yen flights in locations in Mainland

Vanilla Air – Okinawa to Tokyo; also flies from Tokyo to Sapporo, Taipei and Seoul

Jin Air – Offers direct flights daily to Incheon, South Korea starting at 4,900 yen

T- Ways – - Korean airline that offers flights to and from Okinawa and Fukouka

China Eastern – Flights $350 and up all over Asia, Australia and beyond

Main airlines all over world; sometimes offers inexpensive flights but mostly are based fare like United and American Airlines are they codeshare with them.

ANA
JAL

Asiana Airways

More airlines that cater to Asia

China:
Spring Airlines, Juneyao Airlines

India:

Air India Express, GoAir, IndiGo, JetKonnect, SpiceJet

Indonesia:
Citilink, Indonesia AirAsia, Mandala Airlines

Republic of Korea:

Air Busan, Eastar Jet, Jeju Air, Jin Air, T’way Airlines

Malaysia:
AirAsia, AirAsia X, Firefly, Maswings

Philippines:
AirAsia Philippines, Airphil Express, Cebu Pacific, South East Asian Airlines, Zest Airways, Sri Lanka, Mihin Lanka

Singapore:
Jetstar Asia Airways, Tiger Airways, Scoot, Thailand, Nok Air, Thai Smile, Thai AirAsia, Orient Thai Airlines, Nok Mini, Solar Air, Happy Air

Vietnam:
Jetstar Pacific, VietJet Air, Air Mekong

I have used AirAsia, Asiana, Jetstar, ANA, Skymark and China Eastern. Most low cost airlines provide no-frills and unassigned seating. Most do not include meals or extras and you can pay for services on board.

14 POST COMMENT View Our Comment Policy

Send Us A Message Here

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

14 Comments
  • December 11, 2012

    Great article but there’s one more to add to the list of airlines with connections to Naha — Hong Kong Airlines has daily flights from Naha to Hong Kong and prices are pretty reasonable!

    http://www.hongkongairlines.com/en_HK/homepage

    Reply
    • December 12, 2012

      I wanted to add HK express but booking that must be done through an agent from what I have been told.

      Katrina
      Reply
  • December 12, 2012

    I strongly encourage checking out the specific airline’s safety ratings/incident records before booking. Just because they are cheap, does not mean they are safe, as they often cut costs on maintenance and pilot/crew training.

    M
    Reply
    • December 12, 2012

      Most of the airlines are run by large airlines but in the no frills basis. This has been going on in Europe for years. For example. Jinair is actually Korean Airlines offering new low costs flights to compete with Asiana in order to get the fares done to market values. In Europe a 2 hour flight would always be under $100 here not so much. Another one is Jetstar which just launched in Asia is actually Quantas airlines and you can even earn miles with them. Most are just launching the smaller airliners to make more money and they are. In 2012 alone Skymark increased sales by double offering these low costs flights. Safety is an issue with most airlines though look at Southwest and they have been around forever. When I flew Jetstar last month the plane was brand new I think maybe a handfull of people flew on the plane before me. Same with Airasia and Skymark newer model planes and while the seat was no frills the price can not be beat.

      Katrina
      Reply
  • December 12, 2012

    For the Philippines the cheapest airline I have found is Cathay Pacific. Just bought my wife a ticket to go home for the holidays under $700.

    Corey Boteler
    Reply
  • December 15, 2012

    Actually it’s Hong Kong Airlines — the sister airline of Hong Kong Express — that flies HK-Naha daily. Direct booking is available through HKA’s website at http://www.hongkongairlines.com/en_HK/homepage

    Happy travels!

    Reply
  • December 18, 2012

    We recently flew Air Asia to Tokyo for $100 roundtrip per person. It was great. The only disappoint was we almost missed our flight. There were no indications or instructions that it flew out of the Air Cargo terminal which is not accessible by foot and you have to take a bus.

    MJ
    Reply
  • December 30, 2012

    Perfect timing to see this article! Trying to plan our trips for 2013. Thanks for the information.

    Shannon
    Reply
    • January 21, 2013

      Not a problem. As I find more I will add.

      Katrina
      Reply
  • December 30, 2012

    I am getting Y2800 roundtrip tickets into China…from China Eastern…is this correct?? Has anyone used them before? Also if anyone can help me with travel prices to Korea that would be great! I can’t get it to change to English and I would like to fly to Pusan. Any help translating would be great.

    Great article.

    D
    Reply
  • January 8, 2013

    I flew peach to Osaka, took an overnight bus to Tokyo, then flew back on air Asia. The flights were around Y3,500 each. Bus fair was about Y3,500 too. Overall, the flights were really nice. New planes, super professional staff. No safety issues whatsoever. They were way nicer than southwest in all regards. Just bring some snacks. They won’t take them away at check in. And show up a little early as noted above. The terminals are in the cargo which require a free bus to get to.

    Please post any smokin deals out of the country if you find any!

    Scott
    Reply
  • January 21, 2013

    T-ways is the best way to Korea and their website is only in Korean or Japanese unfortunately. They are offering 800 yen flights right now from OKA to ICN. What a great deal. I have just flown from OKA to SIN and HKG to OKA with China Eastern the price was amazing and the service was great. Older planes but it was well worth the places we got to see for the pricing. I love China Eastern as you can book a multicity trip for cheaper than round trip. Example. To fly to Singapore was $800 but we took a cruise and it ended in HK. The flights were $530 for us and $485 for my daughter. The flights we are booking for our next cruise are Sydney and ending in Singapore. Instead of the $1000 price tag they are only $637 for us and $543 for my daughter. Air peach is great. Jetstar has to be my favorite right now for domestic though. They have great pricing and new planes. They are adding in more cities too.

    Katrina
    Reply
  • March 4, 2013

    My husband, son, and I just had a fabulous experience flying on Jetstar to Narita. Fast and easy check-in, nice new plane, cheap fare…it was great. It is no-frills, but who cares? I’d much rather save money than have beverage service on such a short flight. I really like the way they handle their seating. If you want to spend the extra $50, you can pick your own seat ahead of time (from what is available). If you want to save that money, your seats will be randomly assigned when you check in at the kiosk (instead of the “cattle call” method SW and others use). We opted for the random assignment and still ended up being seated together, which was a bonus.

    Carrie
    Reply
  • May 16, 2013

    I just flew with Air Asia last weekend. I booked the flight to Narita which was a really good deal. I checked in online and even checked the website before heading the the airport just as they said to do, and everything was a go- flight was on time. I get there (after running around the main airport trying to find it and learning I had to take a bus), and it is suddenly cancelled. They were not too helpful in trying to find another flight. They pointed to a phone number, which gave no English option, but they were not willing to help translate. They were willing to give a refund, but it would take three months to get the money back. And if I chose to keep my flight with them for the return flight, they would not refund any of the money. My return flight, which I chose to keep with them because I ran out of patience waiting for them and I needed to get to the main terminal to find a flight, was smooth. I won’t say I will never try Air Asia again because they have very cheap flights, but I will use them as a back-up. I just wanted to share my experience.

    Sarah
    Reply