Air Asia, Asia’s first budget airline, has just announced its latest China destination. From now on, you can fly from Hangzhou (which is just a stone’s throw from Shanghai) to Kuala Lumpur at a fraction of the price! We just did a quick check on their system and if you plan ahead of time, you can expect to pay around RMB1,115 (taxes included) for the flight. You can even select your own seats on the website if you pay an additional RMB48! Kuala Lumpur being Air Asia headquarters, you can fly onward to a host of other exciting Southeast Asian destinations for that much-needed break. Other Chinese destinations currently served by Air Asia are Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Xiamen and Macau.
Other Asian budget airlines that you might want to check out:
- Singapore carrier Tiger Airways serves five Chinese destinations: Guangzhou, Haikou, Macau, Shenzhen and Xiamen. The Singapore Airlines subsidiary now flies a handful of Australian destinations so you can continue your holiday down under. Very soon, Tiger will start to use Incheon, Seoul as a hub, but may be limited to flights within Korea at least for a while before they gain approval to serve other destinations in China and Japan.
- Qantas subsidiary Jetstar flies to Singapore from Hong Kong, Macau and Taipei, and unfortunately doesn’t have any mainland China destinations yet (due to Tiger’s first-mover advantage.) In the early days of its inception, Jetstar’s application to fly Singapore-Shanghai was turned down by the Chinese aviation authorities (boo to that!)
- Filipino budget airline Cebu Pacific has extremely reasonable rates for Shanghai-Manila flights. They serve other wonderful destinations within the Philippines that are just perfect for that weekend beach getaway!
- For those of you looking to fly to Europe or North America on a shoestring, Asia’s very first long-haul budget airline comes in the form of Oasis Hong Kong. The only drawback, unfortunately, is that it only has two destinations. London flights start from as low as HK$1980 on cattle class and Vancouver flights from HK$2190 before taxes. Business class rates are comparable to Economy class rates on regular airlines! At rates like that, it might well make it worth your while to swing by Hong Kong for a shopping trip before you fly out. As a side note, the weirdest thing about this airline is that it is founded by a pastor and his wife. Maybe Jesus, as some people say, is the best CEO.
- If you prefer to see more of China instead, then Spring Airlines is your best bet. They fly from Shanghai to Zhengzhou, Guangzhou, Nanchang, Xiamen, Zhuhai, Wenzhou, Changde, Kunming, Shengyang, Sanya, Dalian, Harbin, Qingdao, Chongqing, Guilin, Haikou, Wuhan and Changsha at rock bottom prices, but as with all the other budget airlines mentioned above, remember to book ahead of time!