Brunei Darussalam national carrier Royal Brunei Airlines is promoting its newest service to passengers. In its retrofitted Airbus A320, the carrier offers now a Premium Economy seat. Named “Preferred Economy”, the Preferred Economy service is located in front of the aircraft offering two or three rows of seats depending of the demand. It offers more space than the traditional Economy class 86 cm versus 81.2 cm. Preferred Economy passengers have a priority boarding at the airport and enjoy early meal selection and service.
Service on board was generally upgraded in all classes with better in-flight meals and with a range of personal video programs proposed on all regional flights in business class.
The airline recently confirmed that it will add another four aircraft to its 10-aircraft fleet until 2020. The contract with Airbus covers a firm order of seven A320neo aircraft plus three options. The Airbus A320neo will then be the backbone of RBA fleet next to the Boeing 787 Dreamliner which serves the airline’s long-haul network.
The Airbus A320 neo will be able to cover long distances and help the airline expanding again its network with a more appropriate aircraft offering 130 to 150 seats. Among new destinations to be likely considered are Australian destinations beyond Melbourne -most probably Perth, Darwin or Sydney as well as new cities in China. RBA intercontinental network covers for the time being Dubai-London, Jeddah and Melbourne. The A320neo can potentially fly up to six hours giving RBA additional flexibility to serve international markets.
This will be an essential strategy to strengthen Brunei as a connecting airport as Brunei O&D potential remains limited with a local population of only 400,000 inhabitants (800,000 with neighbouring Malaysia) and 250,000 international air travellers per year.