By Bonson Lam
Jetstar will commence direct flights from Singapore to Okinawa from 17 November, 2017. This direct flight of just over 5 hours will cut at least 3 hours from current connecting flights via Hong Kong, Taipei, Seoul or Tokyo, making it even more accessible than other beach resorts like Hamilton Island or Cairns.
Okinawa has famed for its unique, relaxed and multicultural lifestyle, music and cuisine, so in addition to its sandy beaches, coral reefs and abundant sea life (think whale sharks and turtles), this new connection will make it accessible for a weekend trip, with a three times weekly service.
Jetstar’s Singapore hub also means that travellers from South East Asia, India and Western Australia can easily connect for an onward flight to Okinawa. One way fares from Singapore in November start from $287, departing at 2:20am and arriving at 8:30am. Once you are in Naha, there are easy connections to resorts on the main island, or it is a quick ride to the ferry terminal to the Kerama Islands, where the lifestyle is even slower. There are over 160 islands in Okinawa Prefecture, with regular flights to more outlying islands like Miyako.
From Naha there are frequent connections to Fukuoka, Osaka, Nagoya, Tokyo and the rest of Japan. In fact, the route from Okinawa to Tokyo is one of the world’s top ten busiest routes, with connections every hour during daylight hours. This makes Naha a fantastic way to start your island hopping trip around Japan.
The return flight from Okinawa to Sinagpore departs at 9:30am, arriving at 1:40pm. At time of publication, there are seats available even for the Christmas and New Year holidays, starting from $603 return. Jetstar operates an all economy service on the quiet Airbus A320-200. This route previously was operated by Silk Air on a seasonal basis, however Jetstar has taken the plunge and is the first and only year round direct service.
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