7 Little-Known Budget Airlines That Fly to and from the Philippines
Published: November 6, 2018 | Updated: October 14, 2020 | Posted by: Venus Zoleta | Personal Finance
Cebu Pacific and AirAsia are the top-of-mind budget airlines in the Philippines. But they aren’t the only ones that offer cheap flights.
Apparently, seven other low-cost carriers serve the Philippines. Most of them are based in Singapore and South Korea.
On the hunt for affordable flights for your next trip? Consider one of these budget airlines.
Table of Contents
- 1. Jetstar Asia
- 2. Scoot
- 3. Cebgo
- 4. JejuAir
- 5. Jin Air
- 6. Air Busan
- 7. Lucky Air
- Final Thoughts
1. Jetstar Asia
Main hub: Singapore Changi Airport
- Between Clark and over 20 destinations in Australia, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam
- Between Manila and over 40 destinations in Australia, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam
Jetstar Asia is known for its year-round low fares, especially flights to and from Singapore and Japan. Unlike Cebu Pac and AirAsia, Jetstar doesn’t have an in-house airline loyalty program. But it holds a weekly promo, the Friday Fare Frenzy, as well as seasonal sales during holidays like Christmas, summer, and Valentine’s.
The Singapore-based budget airline departs from and arrives at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1 in Manila and at Clark International Airport in Angeles City, Pampanga.
Main hub: Singapore Changi Airport
Scoot Flights: Between various locations in the Philippines (Manila, Caticlan, Cebu, Clark, Davao, Kalibo, Tagbilaran, etc.) and over 60 destinations across the Asia Pacific, Australia, and Europe
Scoot, which merged with TigerAir in 2017, is Singapore Airlines’ low-cost carrier. Like other budget airlines, Scoot regularly holds seat sales for bargain-hunting travelers.
The Singapore-based budget carrier offers medium to long-haul flights between the Philippines and international destinations. In Manila, Scoot operates from NAIA Terminal 1.
While it has plenty of international flights to and from key cities in the Philippines, Scoot doesn’t operate domestic flights within the country.
Main hub: NAIA Terminal 4 in Manila
- Domestic flights between 36 Philippine destinations (Manila, Bacolod, Busuanga, Cagayan de Oro, Caticlan, Cebu, Clark, Legazpi, Puerto Princesa, Tagbilaran, etc.)
- International flights between 30 destinations across Asia, Australia, and the U.S.
Cebgo may be familiar to frequent flyers in the Philippines, but not many know that this airline was SEAir and Tigerair Philippines before Cebu Pacific bought the latter from Tigerair Singapore. While it’s based at NAIA, Cebgo also operates from Clark International Airport.
Like its sister company Cebu Pacific, Cebgo is a low-cost carrier serving the Philippines. Loyal customers may avail of GetGo, Cebu Pac’s loyalty program.
- Earn PAL Mabuhay Miles and Cebu Pacific GetGo Points Fast with These Credit Cards
- Best Travel Credit Cards in the Philippines
Main hub: Jeju International Airport in South Korea
- Between Cebu and Seoul, Busan, or Muan
- Between Manila and Seoul
- To and from Jeju and other Korean destinations (Seoul, Busan, etc.), Hong Kong, or Fukuoka
Dreaming of a Korean getaway but concerned about your budget? JejuAir may help you get to your dream destination at an affordable cost.
For travelers flying from Manila to Seoul or from Cebu to Busan, JejuAir offers discounted fares for as low as USD 50 through its Super Save Wednesday promo. Loyal customers may also sign up with the Korean budget airline’s frequent flyer program called Refresh Points.
Based on Jeju Island (the top tourist destination in Korea), JejuAir serves over 50 destinations across the Asia Pacific. However, JejuAir flights from NAIA Terminal 1 and Mactan Cebu International Airport are limited only to a few destinations in Korea. There’s no direct flight to Jeju Island. To get to Jeju, you’ll have to take a flight to Seoul and another to the island.
5. Jin Air
Main hub: Incheon International Airport in Seoul, South Korea
Jin Air Flights: From Clark and Cebu to 10 destinations in Korea, Japan, Guam, and Hawaii, and vice versa
Jin Air, formerly Air Korea, is the budget arm of Korean Air, South Korea’s flag carrier. Branding itself as “the world’s hippest low-cost airline,” Jin Air caters to young and budget-conscious travelers.
This is another budget-friendly option to consider if you’re planning to travel to Korea. In the Philippines, Jin Air operates flights to and from Clark Airport and Mactan Airport.
6. Air Busan
Main hub: Gimhae International Airport in Busan, South Korea
Air Busan Flights: Between Cebu and 16 destinations in Korea, Japan, China, Mongolia, Russia, and Guam
Air Busan is one of Korea’s budget airlines and owned by Asiana Airlines. It has the best service and on-time performance among carriers in Korea, according to a Korean government report.
Because of the influx of tourists to Cebu, Air Busan operates daily flights between Cebu and Busan. Its Fly & Fun program gives discounts to members and ticket-holders with the airline’s partner merchants.
7. Lucky Air
Main hub: Kunming Changshui International Airport in Yunnan, China
Lucky Air Flights: Between Manila / Cebu and Kunming, China
Lucky Air is a low-cost carrier that’s part of HNA Group, one of the largest airlines in China. This Chinese budget airline flies from Manila and Cebu to Kunming, China. It’s a relatively new player, having started its flights in the Philippines in June 2017.
Have you flown with at least one of these off-the-radar budget airlines in the Philippines? How was your experience? Was it worth your money? Let us know in the comments!
Venus is the Head of Content at Moneymax, with 15+ years of experience in digital marketing, corporate communications, PR, and journalism. She invests in stocks, mutual funds, VUL, and Pag-IBIG MP2. Outside of work, she’s crazy about cats and Korean dramas. Follow Venus on LinkedIn.