Flying business class from Asia to London or New York is expensive, but a new index highlights large differences in the cost of buying a ticket in different Asian cities.
Tokyo, one of the world's expensive places to live, is the cheapest city in Asia to purchase a round-trip business class ticket, according to the latest Julius Baer Lifestyle Index, at an average cost of $3,932 – well below the regional average of $5,719.
The Index, which tracks a basket of luxury goods in U.S. dollar terms in 11 Asian cities, took the average cost of a round trip, full fare business class flight to London and New York on five separate airlines.
Bangkok, Mumbai and Kuala Lumpur followed closely, with business class travel to the two major cities averaging $4,077, $4,224 and $4,750, respectively.
Seoul was the most expensive at $7,712 ahead of Hong Kong at $7,180 and Shanghai at $6,915.
From biz class to Botox
In addition to business class tickets, the Index tracks the cost of a variety of luxury items including botox, high-end wine, Louboutin pumps and a Rolex watch among other discretionary goods.
The Index fell by 5.3 percent in U.S. dollar terms in 2014, reflecting depreciation in Asian currencies over the past year.
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While there isn't a single city in Asia that offers competitively priced luxury goods across all product categories, one thing is clear: if you're looking to pamper yourself, avoid Shanghai, which tops the ranking for many items.
The most competitively priced Botox treatment can be found in Manila, where it costs just $172, according to an index, a fraction of the $1,373 charged in Shanghai – the most expensive location – and regional average of $528.
Wine connoisseurs best head to Kuala Lumpur, where a bottle of 2000 Lafite Rothschild costs $1,832, well below the regional average of $2,816.
Ladies, for Louboutin pumps, take a trip to Taipei where they cost around $450, compared with the regional average of $647.
Gentleman looking to purchase a Rolex watch should consider doing so in Tokyo, where a yellow gold 41 millimeter face Oyster Rolex will set you back $30,300 – compared to the regional average of $35,341.
It's time for a shopping spree around Asia.