I'm currently on an extended trip and flexible on dates and destinations so was hoping for some help on how I could find the cheapest fare to get from Osaka, Japan to somewhere in Europe (or preferably Istanbul if possible) in mid-to-late August.
1. Are there any hubs in Asia or Europe that are known for having cheaper fares in or out? I'd be happy to first fly there and then stopover (preferably somewhere in China if possible) before going to another cheap hub.
2. Are there any flight search engines or budget airline websites you'd recommend looking at for this kind of route? I haven't been that happy with Kayak for my international searches.
Programs: Air Berlin Top Bonus, BA Executive Club, LH Miles&More
After Air Asia X has pulled out of the Asia-Europe market there´s no real budget carrier.
You can only search,search,search for low fares.
But - a great hub may be Bangkok because almost every airline with a viable routing serves BKK.
This creates a strong competition between airlines and effectively forces down the fare level.
From BKK to Europe (and possibly Istanbul) Kuwait Airways is probably one of your best chances ...
Air China has great fares to Europe. London is usually more expensive but there are great deals to Stockholm, Frankfurt, and Munich. I flew with them last fall and they were even cheaper than the Middle Eastern carriers, and due to overbooking, they transferred me to Cathay for a direct flight with compensation for the return home.
I was on a trip earlier this year of Japan->Singapore->India->Thailand->Hong Kong->Italy and checking the discount airlines' sites resulted in some good deals. A tricky bit to trip cost calculation is that discount airlines will tend to charge you for any baggage you want to check (and sometimes carry-on baggage over a certain weight). So to really know how much a ticket is going to cost you (in comparison to a more full featured airline) you'll need to know how much your bags will weigh.