Asia Minute: Asian Budget Airlines Increasing Reach to Hawai‘i

May 12, 2017

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Another Asian-based airline is stretching its wings to Hawai‘i. This one is a budget carrier, based in Singapore—and it joins a growing crowd. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.


Scoot is a low-cost carrier owned by Singapore Airlines planning to fly from Singapore to Honolulu.

The Straits Times reports Scoot wants to start by the end of the year, pending regulatory approval from the United States.

The flights would go through Osaka, Japan—requiring a definite commitment to travel time.

Singapore to Osaka is a little under 7 hours. Osaka to Honolulu, a little under 8 hours.

It’s not quite the road to Mandalay, but the route from Southeast Asia to Hawai‘i already has some competition.

Earlier this year, Malaysia’s low-cost air carrier AirAsia X announced plans to fly to Honolulu starting this summer.

It’s a similar flight path—a little more than six hours from Kuala Lumpur to Osaka and then another 8 to Honolulu—which is the first U.S. destination for AirAsia X.

Hawai‘i has been used by other low-cost Asian airlines to break into the U.S. market.

Jin Air, the budget carrier of Korean Airlines began flying to Hawai‘i about a year and a half ago—its first long-haul international route and now an opportunity for business beyond O‘ahu.

Just last month, Jin Air announced a partnership with Island Air—allowing passengers to book travel from Korea to Honolulu and through to neighbor islands on a single ticket.