If you don’t mind a layover en-route to Japan from HKG, you can get some really great fares in economy class, $1090 before taxes and fees, which comes to around $2200 HKD all-in. Additionally, with China’s new visa-free transit rule going into effect January 1, 2013, you can also try to fit in a stopover and visit China for up to 72-hours in either Beijing or Shanghai!
Air China has these promotional flights valid for travel dates: 01JAN13-03FEB13/11FEB13-10MAR13
Destinations in Japan include: (these are the generic city codes provided by Air China, not the actual airport codes)
- Tokyo TYO
- Fukuoka FUK
- Osaka OSA
- Nagoya NGO
- Sendai SDJ
- Hiroshima HIJ
- Sapporo SPK
- Okinawa OKA
This is great, especially to expensive destinations such as Sapporo and Hiroshima. Most likely however you’ll have to connect in Beijing PEK. These Air China flights book into U class so check your Star Alliance carrier’s program to see how many miles you’ll accrue. For United and US Airways it’s 50% of flown mileage.
If you don’t mind spending slightly more, on searches I found China Eastern to be competitive with fares only a few hundred dollars higher than Beijing. For these you’ll connect at their hub in Shanghai. Just note that sometimes luggage cannot be tagged through at PVG, so you may have to collect your bags and recheck upon arriving at Shanghai. Also, there is currently no formal transit procedures, so you’ll also need to go through immigration into China and exit again, quite a pain for only a simple connection, so I’d avoid China Eastern unless you have stopovers both ways.