Ishigaki Island (250km east of TW) - direct flights 2013

[Note: This thread continues one for on the same topic for 2012.]

TransAsia Airways has posted information on its first planned flights between Hualien and Ishigaki Island in 2013

02/14 (Thu), 02/17 (Sun)
02/28 (Thu), 03/03 (Sun), 03/07 (Thu), 03/10 (Sun), 03/14 (Thu), 03/17 (Sun)

The flight details for each of those days:

Flight 015 Songshan dep. 15:00 arr. 15:35 Hualian
immigration and customs procedures at Hualien
Flight 6812 Hualien dep. 16:50 arr. 18:00 (19:00 JST) Ishigaki

Flight 6811 Ishigaki dep. 18:50 (19:50 JST) arr. 20:00 Hualien
immigration and customs procedures at Hualien
Flight 018 Hualien dep. 20:50 arr. Songshan 21:25

The return fare seems to be about NT$12,000 or NT$15,000 (depending on the length of your stay); I’ll try to get more exact figures…

Travel Agencies that sell tickets for these flights:

  • Taipei
    大榮國際旅行社 (DTS Group Main office)
    台北市104 南京東路二段66號12樓之3
    (02) 25223219

  • Taichung
    大榮國際旅行社台中分公司 (DTS Group Taichung branch office)
    (04) 22994567

大榮國際旅行社高雄分公司 (DTS Group Kaohsiung branch office)
(07) 2727690

  • Eastern Taiwan
    詠莉旅行社 (Wintours)
    花蓮市建國路286號 Hualien
    (03) 835-9477

fifteen thousand nt round trip for such a short flight seems quite expensive.

It IS expensive, but any return flight between Taiwan and Okinawa will cost about that much - no idea why.

It remains to be seen whether with the opening of the new (larger) Ishigaki airport in March there will be any downward movement of the airfares…

Some years ago i admit but flights to and from naha used to be right around 6000nt. course we are talking circa 1994 here. Took JAA Dc-10 (they had one flight daily i think) and they treated it like a domestic flight (no drinks like to Hongkong and you get a little box with a cake and a small glass of water in it). China airlines flew 2 times a day with a 737 i think.

There were no discount tickets, all tickets were full value tickets and was right around 3100nt each way.

Now JAA (JAL) seems to have dropped the route. Must not be a money maker. While CI still has 2 flights a day by 737 or something like that.

Course to a relatively remote airport like Ishigaki, thats definitely charter territory.

Always wanted to try that ship that used to go there and then on to naha. NEver got the chance and now its gone.

One word: Japan.

One word: Japan.[/quote]
Indeed… :laughing:
But things are changing even here… … lines.html … 2003544874

(Remains to be seen whether we on the outlying islands will benefit from any of this,too, or only those living in big cities…)

So the new airport in Ishigaki is to open on March 7 - and the newspaper reports that there will be no direct flights between Haulien and Ishigaki after March.

Oh well… :idunno:

Have been too busy to update this, but as of May 23 Transair offers regular flights twice weekly.
Here are the details:
Thu/Sun Dep Taoyuan 13:25 Arr Ishigaki 15:20 (= 14:20 Taiwan time) flight# GE686 (Airbus 320)
Thu/Sun Dep Ishigaki 16:10 Arr Taoyuan 16:10 (= 17:10 Ishigaki time) flight# GE685 (Airbus 320)

A local reference: … 0&cid=1102

Went to 大榮國際旅行社 (DTS Group) today - the company shares the building with many other companies, and its name is not written on street level except on the metall directory next to the elevators. The address is as i had previously mentioned: 台北市104 南京東路二段66號12樓之3

Found out there that a return ticket to Ishigaki costs 9300NT$ this time - a bit cheaper than two years ago. :sunglasses:
I spoke with one of the many young(ish) people who work there, a Mr. Wēng (翁) who seems to speak enough English for helping foreigners get their tickets. :wink: (I only heard him say a bit in English at the beginning, since we conducted our conversation in a mix of Mandarin and Japanese.) The phone number on his card is (02) 2522 3219.

I will post here a copy of the faxable payment form (for credit card payments, so one can order tickets over the phone), once i have figured out how to do that…

As of yesterday, Mandarin Airlines (華信航空) is offering seats to anybody on its twice-weekly flights to Ishigaki, which until now had been exclusive for guests of the Club Med here.

Flight data are as follows:
AE7334: leave TPE (Taoyuan) 11:40; arrive ISG (Ishigaki) 13:35 (12:35 Taiwan time)
AE7335: leave ISG (Ishigaki) 14:30 (13:30 Taiwan time); arrive TPE (Taoyuan) 14:25

This had been previosuly announced here:

There’s some concise introductory information on Ishigaki Island to be had at Wikitravel:

Yuli, thanks for posting this. I love Ishigaki but havent been able to get over there for a few years… I may have to take a few days off and get on one of these flights.

Sounds like you’ve been here before… :slight_smile:

In recent years, some English language information about Ishigaki Island and the other smaller islands has shown up in print and on the web. The quality of that kind of information is uneven: some has been poorly translated and much is “sensationalist” advertising talk (like, let’s see how many times you can read the word “paradise” before your stomach complains), but that’s the nature of the beast. In the case of agency sponsored web sites, there is also some outdated information that nobody knows when it will be fixed… :wink: Here are a few sites that might be useful anyway - as always and everywhere: YMMV…

Sites produced by private citizens:

Sites produced by agencies: … land-guide … island.htm … /ishigaki/

I’ll see what there is in German, French, Spanish, etc. and post it later…

Yup… Ive been there a few times… usually for the Ishigaki triathlon but the whole island comes out for that. It lives up to the translated hype. I speak Japanese so I can usually get around the worst of it. It is just a cool, chill, laid back cool place to be… doesnt matter if youre 19 or 90. Ishigaki is an awesome place to spend time :2cents:

[quote=“yuli”]As of yesterday, Mandarin Airlines (華信航空) is offering seats to anybody on its twice-weekly flights to Ishigaki, which until now had been exclusive for guests of the Club Med here.

Flight data are as follows:
AE7334: leave TPE (Taoyuan) 11:40; arrive ISG (Ishigaki) 13:35 (12:35 Taiwan time)
AE7335: leave ISG (Ishigaki) 14:30 (13:30 Taiwan time); arrive TPE (Taoyuan) 14:25

This had been previosuly announced here:[/quote]

Sounds like there are no flights from Hualien anymore…
Btw, when the Taiwanese refer to 琉球 (Liu-Qiu), are they refering to any one particular island of the Ryukyu chain? If so, is that Ishigaki?

Indeed… most customers are in Taipei and prefer the trip to/from Taoyuan and dealing with the size and congestion of that airport to traveling via Songshan and Hualien, where passport checks take only a few minutes and distances are short. So TransAsia is no longer doing that route…

No, 琉球 is the equivalent of “Okinawa” in the general sense, and the airport they mean in this context is “Naha” (OKA)… :slight_smile:

Thanks :thumbsup:.
So what do the Taiwanese call Ishigaki then? :slight_smile:

[quote=“Nuit”]Thanks :thumbsup:.
So what do the Taiwanese call Ishigaki then? :slight_smile:[/quote]
Most don’t even know it exists, :wink: but those who know it call it “shí yuán dǎo” (i hope you see the etymological relationship to “seki en tou”, another possible Japanese reading of the characters for Ishigaki Island, 石垣島)

As of today, Mandarin airlines’s Taipei-Ishigaki flights are regular scheduled flights (rather than “regular charter flights”). TransAsia, whose boss is expected to visit Ishigaki Sep 12-15, will likely make a similar change soon.

The reason why this change is possible now is that our airport has received the official (Japanese) classification “international airport”.

From now on, the companies are also permitted to offer internet based booking (and i hope they set that up before long).