Wednesday, October 30, 2019

AirAsia Starts Flights to Okinawa

Okinawa Flights AirAsia

Japan fans will be thrilled to know that AirAsia is starting flights to Okinawa in Japan and this makes the tropical island in the south of Japan the sixth Japanese destination for the airline. 

The news of the Okinawa flights with AirAsia was announced on the 30th of November 2019, where the four times weekly flights will commence on the 22nd of January 2020 via Taipei, Taiwan, and land at Naha Airport which is only 4 kilometers from Naha City. 

AirAsia Flights to Okinawa

AirAsia Okinawa
One of the beautiful scenes at Okinawa
Okinawa has always been one of the desired holiday destinations for many Malaysians and also Southeast Asians over the years. 

Now with AirAsia opening up this direct route, many will have the opportunity to explore this beautiful Japanese tropical paradise, which is a dream come true. 

With a four times weekly flight schedule to Okinawa via Taipei, this provides travellers with options on travel dates that make it easier to plan.  

However, the scheduled flight only commences on the 22nd of January 2020, but the flight bookings can be made from the airlines' website. 

Apart from Okinawa, AirAsia also flies to five other Japanese cities which are Narita and Haneda in Tokyo, Osaka, Sapporo, Fukuoka and Nagoya (via Bangkok). 

For the official press release of this flight, the AirAsia Malaysia CEO Benyamin Ismail had this to say; 
“Our rapid expansion into Japan continues following the launch of services to Fukuoka and Tokyo Narita earlier this year. 
Okinawa is an island paradise that offers a different Japanese experience for leisure travellers, including white sandy beaches with clear blue waters, some of the world’s most famous diving spots and unique Ryukyuan cuisine. 
“Like Fukuoka, we are building the foundation for more AirAsia flights to serve Okinawa in the near future, strengthening our regional network and allowing more travellers to discover the unique cultural heritage of this amazing destination.”

Price of AirAsia Flights to Okinawa

BIG Members are eligible to purchase fares from Kuala Lumpur to Okinawa Naha starting from RM239 one-way on standard seats, and RM899 one-way on the award-winning Premium Flatbeds.

This promotion starts from 31 October 2019 at 12:00 pm (GMT+8) until 2 November 2019 for travel between 22 January 2020 and 27 March 2020. 

For more booking information, please visit the AirAsia website

Beach at Okinawa
One of the beautiful beaches at Okinawa Island
Transit at Taipei International Airport

The good news is that travelers from Kuala Lumpur to Okinawa are not required to obtain a Taiwan visa during their one hour fifteen minutes stopover in Taipei.

After the transit, they may return to their seats after clearing a quick security check of their carry-on bags and inflight belongings.

This also means that you are not allowed to exit the Taipei airport, but remain only in the transit area. 

However, for those creative travelers who want to kill two birds with one stone can do so by booking your Taipei trip and then your Okinawa connecting flight the following day or days later. 
AirAsia Okinawa Flight Timings
The AirAsia flight schedule to Okinawa

How Long Does It Take To Fly From Kuala Lumpur to Okinawa? 

This is a common question by most travelers and the answer is 8.5 hours. This, of course, includes your transit time in Taipei for about one hour. 

In total, you need to factor in around 12 hours of travel, transit and flight time. Meaning, from the time you travel from your home to the airport, you need at least two hours before check-in. 

The flight is 7.35 AM in the morning, meaning you need to be at KLIA2 at about 5.30 AM. Traveling to KLIA2 requires around one hour, so you need to leave your home at 4.30 AM or 4.00 AM to be safe. 

Getting up from bed, preparing, final checking and waiting for your ride-hailing or taxi means you need to be up at about 2.00 AM or 3.00 AM.

Probably, there is no doubt that you will end up taking a nice morning nap along the journey to Taipei. 

This is also best done after you have your in-flight breakfast on AirAsia, so do add-in that Santai meal when you book your flight tickets.

Map of Okinawa Island
Map showing where Okinawa Island is located at.
Where is Okinawa? 

Okinawa Island is one of Japan’s 47 prefectures comprising 160 islands in the East China Sea. It is also located quite close to Taiwan. 

Prior to AirAsia flying to Okinawa, the only other way to get here was via Taipei, Shanghai, Beijing and a few Japanese cities. 

From Malaysia, there were no direct flights, and many had to take connecting flights to get to Okinawa. There are even some local travel agents that sell special charter flights to Okinawa. 

Okinawa has long been a popular holiday destination for the Japanese, while its subtropical climate reminds many travellers of Hawaii, complete with coral-fringed waters and a very relaxed way of life. 

Conclusion

Many thought that this flight route would never materialize, and surprisingly, even for me, the news came out just before the end of 2019. 

This simply means that many Malaysians and Southeast Asians can now start making plans to visit one of the most beautiful islands that Japan has to offer. 

With the news that AirAsia starting flights to Okinawa, we can assume that many will be making plans to book their dream tropical vacation on this beautiful Japanese island. 

No comments: