Feb 21, 2018
Densely populated and with one of the world’s most iconic skylines Hong Kong is surely one of the most exciting cities in Asia, and perhaps the one that delights in / battles with the most contrasts. Schooled in British manners but still no-nonsense Chinese. Furnished with towering skyscrapers and verdant mountains, modern in parts, faded, stained and crumbling in others. If nothing else, Hong Kong is entertainment for the eyes. Flying from Tokyo to Hong Kong is a breeze. The not-too-lengthy four to five hour direct flights depart from the Japan capital numerous times a day from morning to night, with fares offered by both major flag carriers and budget airlines. Here we look at what flights from Tokyo to Hong Kong are available and how much they cost.
How far is it from Tokyo to Hong Kong?
Around 1,823 miles / 2,934 km
How long does it take to fly from Tokyo to Hong Kong?
Outward journeys between Tokyo and Hong Kong tend to take more time, around 5 to 5 hours 30 mins. Coming from Hong Kong to Tokyo things are a little shorter with most flights around 4 hours.
How much does it cost to fly from Tokyo to Hong Kong?
The cheapest flights from Tokyo to Hong Kong, that we found, came from Ethiopian Airlines and budget carrier Vanilla Air, with both offering return fares at just over 30,000 yen. The next cheapest flights were from Hong Kong-based carriers, Hong Kong Express and Hong Kong Airlines with return fares around 39,000 yen. If it's fair to say this, the lowest fares from the "established" major airlines flying from Tokyo to Hong Kong were the "Economy Save" fares from Cathay Pacific.
All in, we managed to find a total of eight airlines operating direct flights between Tokyo and Hong Kong with the most popular airline for flights from Tokyo to Hong Kong being the country’s (administrative zone's) flag carrier, Cathay Pacific.
The winter months tend to be the most expensive time of year to fly from Tokyo to Hong Kong with January being the most expensive month. May, June and July seem to be the cheapest times of year to make this journey (although presumably after the Golden Week holidays have wrapped up in Japan).
Arriving in Hong Kong
All of the flights listed in this post land at Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) which is located on the island of Chek Lap Kok, itself just off Lantau Island.
(Hong Kong International Airport on the island of Chek Lap Kok)
The Hong Kong Airport Express train service shuttles passengers into central parts of the city (Hong Kong station, Kowloon) in around 25 mins with departures every 10 mins between ~ 6:00 and ~ 23:30 (with a slightly reduced schedule until ~ 00:50).
Fares from the airport to Hong Kong station and Kowloon station are 115 HKD (1,600 yen) and 105 HKD (1,460 yen) respectively.
Interestingly, Hong Kong International Airport (sometimes referred to as Chek Lap Kok Airport) replaced the now-closed Kai Tak Airport in 1998. Kai Tak sometimes appeared in lists of the most dangerous airports in the world due to its proximity to skyscrapers and mountains and the high levels of skill required of pilots to land there. Let’s hope that Hong Kong International is a little easier for them!
Most of the flights listed below fly out of Tokyo from Narita International Airport (NRT). There are still plenty of flights bound for Hong Kong that depart from Haneda Airport (HND) (aka Tokyo International Airport), something to consider seriously given its comparative ease of access from central Tokyo.
In looking at the cost of flights between the two destinations, we collated fares based on making bookings one month in advance online, directly with the airline in question. Fares are listed in Japanese Yen (unless otherwise indicated). The code next to each of the airlines is that designated by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). It's their codes that are commonly used for ticketing and scheduling at airports.
Cost of direct flights from Tokyo to Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific (CX)
Hong Kong's flag carrier operates the most flights from Tokyo. The flights below are all departing from Narita. We didn’t see any flights from Haneda for the dates checked.
|Premium Economy Standard||85,000||n/a|
Japan Airlines (JL)
One of Japan's two flag carriers, JAL are operating a mixture of flights from both Narita and Haneda airports to Hong Kong International. Flight times are around 5 - 5 hrs 30 mins out and around 4 hours in.
All Nippon Airways (NH)
ANA were operating most of its flights for Hong Kong out of Haneda Airport for the dates we checked. However, there were one or two Narita departures. Flight times around 5 hrs out and around 4 hrs in.
|Economy Basic Plus||141,130||n/a|
|Economy Full Flex Plus||n/a||149,070|
|Business Value Plus||146,100||n/a|
|Business Flex Plus||224,100||n/a|
|Business Full Flex Plus||365,100||235,070|
Ethiopian Airlines (ET)
Curiously, Star Alliance member Ethiopian Airlines operates a limited set of direct flights from Tokyo to Hong Kong with one flight (each way) on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sunday.
Given this limited schedule we found it difficult to get availability just one month in advance. Things started to open up a bit more around two months in advance with the airline’s economy fares starting at around 30,000 yen (return) and business fares starting at around 100,000 yen (return).
Not the most obvious choice of airline to fly with from Tokyo to Hong Kong but surely the cheapest of the flag carriers.
Cost of budget airline flights from Tokyo to Hong Kong
Perhaps the cheapest flights from Tokyo to Hong Kong can be made by sacrificing some of those in-flight creature comforts that come with the larger carriers. At this kind of distance however, flying between the two cities with budget airlines could be seen as perfectly "doable" by the budget-conscious traveler. So let's take a look at how much these flights cost ...
Hong Kong Express (UO)
Hong Kong Express (HK Express) operate out of Hong Kong International Airport. From Tokyo the budget airline flies its fleet of Airbus A320s from either Narita or Haneda airports in the Japan capital, arriving at Hong Kong International.
In our experience, fares with Hong Kong Express have the potential to fluctuate dramatically. While the “Fun” 39,930 yen fare looks reasonable, the same fare for the day before was almost double.
One-way fares with Hong Kong Express cost roughly the same as return fares, more if your timing doesn't suit.
Hong Kong Airlines (HX)
Hong Kong’s third passenger airline currently as routes that cover 30 cities, largely in Asia. In Japan, the airline flies to / from Tokyo, Sapporo and Okinawa. Flights from Tokyo to Hong Kong use Narita and Hong Kong International airports respectively.
The cost of flights are listed below in Hong Kong Dollars and Japanese Yen (in brackets). Fares were displayed in the former (on the airline's booking platform) and converted by us into the latter.
|Economy Select||2,778 (38,660)||2,791 (38,841)|
|Economy Saver||4,938 (68,720)||3,311 (46,078)|
|Economy Plus||24,968 (347,471)||16,111 (224,211)|
|Business Saver||6,408 (89,178)||9,271 (129,021)|
|Business Select||12,168 (169,338)||13,671 (190,254)|
|Business Plus||29,738 (413,853)||19,171 (266,796)|
The cheapest flights from Tokyo to Hong Kong with Hong Kong Airlines look to be "Economy Select" fare.
Vanilla Air (JW)
The budget airline owned by Japan’s All Nippon Airways, Vanilla Air operates out of Narita International Airport arriving at Hong Kong International. Fares with Vanilla Air are easy to navigate due to their simple range of choice.
As with Hong Kong Express (above), fares with Vanilla Air have the potential to vary wildly. Had we opted to book a flight a few days earlier the prices above could have more than doubled.
Even attempting to book around one month in advance we found some flights with Vanilla Air were unavailable. Get organised well in advance if you want to fly to Hong Kong with this airline.
One way: 18,340
The above costs are for the basic fares with Australia's budget airline Jetstar. “Bundles” for comforts such as greater baggage allowance, seat selection, and flexible dates, range from around 6,000 - 15,000 yen.
While not affected by the kind of price difference from day to day shown by other budget airlines, if one can be flexible, the traveler will be able to make significant savings depending on departure dates within the same week.
Cathay Dragon (KA)
We looked into booking flights with Cathay Dragon (previously Dragonair), the budget carrier of Cathay Pacific, but it seems that the Cathay Dragon website has merged with that of its more illustrious flag carrier, and it is not at all clear how one is supposed to book flights with them (we were just taken to the flights from Cathay Pacific).
Indirect flights between Tokyo and Hong Kong
Given the relatively short distance, and flight times, from Tokyo to Hong Kong, flying indirectly would seem to make little sense and it doesn't look like it's going to make flying any cheaper. Still, should the direct flights all get booked up and you simply have to travel indirect ...
China Airlines (CI)
China Airlines operates flights from Narita Airport in Tokyo with connections in either Taipei or Kaohsiung (both Taiwan). Flights with connection times around 2 hours are available.
|Economy Semi Flex||89,370||75,710|
|Business Super Saver||197,740||n/a|
EVA Air (BR)
As Taiwan is one of the few countries / destinations that might be said to be “on the way” to Hong Kong from Japan, maybe the county’s flag carrier, EVA Air, has some flights worth looking into.
Flights with EVA Air depart from either Narita or Haneda airports in Tokyo and arrive at Hong Kong International. Connections range from the very reasonable - one hour, to the absurd - 14 hours. The costs listed below are for those flights using Narita Airport.
|Business Semi Flex||237,440||n/a|
|ECO One way||n/a||95,310|
|Business One way||n/a||175,110|
Korean Air (KE)
South Korea’s largest carrier, Korean Air, operates flights between Tokyo and Hong Kong that connect in Seoul (Incheon), a connecting travel hub that won't take the traveler too far off their course for Hong Kong.
While most of the transfer times at Incheon (over four hours) seem to make little sense for a journey of this length, we did find one flight departing Narita at 9:10 with a one hour 50 min connection, making the total journey time (out) around eight hours 40 mins. Coming back the 12:35 departure with a one hour 45 min connection in Seoul has a total journey time of seven hours 30 mins.
Fares from 54,439 yen, making these among the cheapest of the indirect flights from Tokyo to Hong Kong.
Have you ever traveled from Tokyo to Hong Kong? How much did it cost? Know where to find the cheapest flights? Let us know in the comments below.
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