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Chapman Freeborn’s Top 10 East Asian Airports for Private Jet Travellers

Hiring a private jet for your holiday or business trip to East Asia couldn’t be easier. Whether you’re travelling to Hong Kong, Tokyo, Shanghai or Taipei, here are the ten most popular East Asian airports for private jet travellers.

Narita International Airport – Tokyo, Japan 

Impressive snow-capped Mount Fuji will be your backdrop on arrival and descent into Narita International Airport. Coming in to Narita, Tokyo and Mount Fuji will be on your right-hand side. Narita International Airport has three terminals and is located 60 to 80-minutes by car from Tokyo. There’s a capsule hotel called Nine Hours at Terminal 2 with 24/7 check-in.

Get an express bus from Narita International Airport to Tokyo Disney Resort, and Kyoto Universal Studios. The best way to reach the centre of Tokyo is by train on the JR Narita Express (1 hour transfer time) or the Keisei Line (up to an hour).

Tokyo is renowned for its rich cultural heritage, superb local and international cuisine and vibrant nightlife.

Hong Kong International Airport (Chek Lak Kok Airport) – Hong Kong 

Be sure to sit on the left-hand side of your private jet for superb views of the Hong Kong skyline and Kowloon. Passengers on the right will have mountain views. During south or southwest summer winds, aircraft will approach HKIA from the northeast overflying Tseung Kwan O, Sai Kung, Ma On Shan, Shatin and Tsuen Wan. When the wind is from the east or northeast (prevailing in winter), aircraft will approach HKIA from the southwest (over the water).

Located on the man-made island of Chek Lak Kok, Hong Kong International Airport has two terminals with multiple retail, dining and entertainment options. The former British colony is a densely populated, vibrant financial hub, with an iconic skyscraper skyline. The territory is also a world-renowned shopping destination.

Tianjin Binhai International Airport – Tianjin, China 

Tianjin Airport is the city’s only passenger airport and is the nearest alternative to Beijing Capital International. Views on descent to Tianjin include the impressive Bohai Sea and the enigmatic Taihang Mountains. The two-terminal airport provides passengers with banking, money changing, luggage packing, luggage storage, postage and medical services.

Tianjin Binhai International Airport is located in the Dongli District of Tianjin City, about 13km from the centre and 30km from Tianjin New Port. Minimum road transfer time to Tianjin is about 30 minutes. Local attractions around Tianjin include Porcelain House, the manicured gardens of Jingyuan, and the Five Great Avenues.

Itami Airport – Osaka International Airport, Osaka, Japan 

Itami Airport, officially known as Osaka International Airport is the primary domestic airport for the Kansai region of Japan, including the major cities of Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe. The airport has a wide range of shops and restaurants, meeting and smoking rooms, a post office and a crèche.

Osaka is a large port city and commercial centre on the Japanese island of Honshu. It’s known for its modern architecture, nightlife and eclectic street food. The 16th-century Osaka Castle is the city’s main historical landmark and a visit to Sumiyoshi-taisha, one of Japan’s oldest Shinto shrines is highly recommended. Train and car transfer to Osaka is about 30 minutes, while transfers to Kyoto are 71 minutes via train and at least an hour by car.

Shanghai Pudong International Airport – Shanghai, China 

Located 30km east of downtown Shanghai, Pudong International Airport is 40km from Hongqiao International Airport. It’s a two-terminal airport with free shuttle buses connecting the two. Connections to Shanghai central are easy. Take the Shanghai Metro Line 2 that goes all the way to People’s Square. A faster option is the Shanghai Maglev train – with speeds of up to 430km/h. Trains leave Maglev station at the airport every 15 minutes and arrive in Longyang Road Station in only 8 minutes.

Situated on China’s central coast, Shanghai is the country’s largest metropolis and a global financial centre. The Bund is its famous waterfront promenade with colonial-era buildings as a backdrop, while the Pudong district across the Huangpu River is skyscraper central including the 632m Shanghai Tower.

Taipei Songshan Airport – Taipei, Taiwan 

Located in the north of this sweet-potato-shaped island, Taipei Songshan Airport is a single runway and offers banking, post office, shopping and dining facilities as well as efficient Internet. The outdoors observation deck is a great place to relax and grab some fresh air before your flight.

Taiwan is an island located off the coast of southwest Okinawa, Japan. Governed by the Republic of China since 1945, it offers visitors lush forests and striking mountain scenery to explore, as well as a rich cultural heritage.

Taipei is the country’s financial and cultural hub with many Hong Kong residents choosing to stay here for short-term holidays. Shilin Night Market is famous for its traditional food and a must-see.

Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport – Chengdu, China 

Located about 16km from Chengdu’s downtown area, the two-terminal airport is the largest in south west China. Passport holders of 51 countries and regions are granted a visa-free stay of up to 72 hours when taking an international transfer via Chengdu Shuangliu Airport. Transfers to Chengdu are easy – with trains departing to the South Railway Station (10 minutes) and East Railway Station (16 minutes). Visitors can also take the metro (line 10) at both T1 and T2.

Chengdu is the capital of southwestern China’s Sichuan province with a history dating back to the 4th century BC. The city is also home to the famous Giant Panda Breeding Research Base, where visitors can see endangered giant pandas.

Xi’an Xianyang International Airport – Xi’an, China

Xi’an Xianyang International Airport is located 47km to the northwest of Xi’an city centre and has three terminals. A fascinating feature in T3 are the so-called ‘sleepboxes’ providing a temporary space for passengers to rest, with two single beds, a television, a computer and Wi-Fi. Using the Xianyang International Airport Expressway and the Airport Exclusive Expressway, passengers can reach Xi’an Airport from downtown in an hour.

Xi’an is the capital of Shaanxi Province and located in central China. Once known as Chang’an (Eternal Peace), Xi’an is the eastern end of the fabled Silk Road. In Xi’an’s surrounding plains, visitors will find the famous terracotta army: thousands of life-size, hand-moulded figures buried with China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang.

Kobe Airport – Kobe, Japan 

Kobe Airport is an airport on an artificial island just off the coast of Kobe on Osaka Bay, 8km south of Sannomiya Station Japan. It primarily handles domestic flights, but can also accommodate international charter flights. Built around a light-filled, open-plan design, Kobe Airport restaurants serve international as well as Japanese cuisine, there is also a scenic roof deck.

This offshore airport gives passengers superb views of the city in the north and the ocean and runway in the south. Access to Kobe is easy and takes around 18 minutes by train. Take a vintage cable car from Kobe to Mount Rokko and enjoy panoramic views over the port.

Taichung International Airport – Taichung, Taiwan

Built in 2013, Taichung’s airport prides itself on its green and eco credentials. As a result, it’s a light-filled spacious terminal designed to represent the outline of the grey-faced buzzard – the national bird of Taiwan. It has a children’s area, a cultural gallery and even a living green wall. All the usual airport services are here: duty free, food and beverage outlets as well as a chemist and medical centre.

Taichung is the gateway to Taiwan’s beautiful mountain ranges and nature reserves such as Sun Moon Lake. The city centre is home to museums, temples and the unmissable Taichung Station, a reminder of the island’s Japanese colonial past.