Brunei could become one the fastest-growing markets in Southeast Asia and Asia overall in 2018 as Royal Brunei Airlines (RBA) embarks on an ambitious expansion phase.
Brunei national carrier effectively is to take delivery of eight aircraft during the year, with its fleet projected to jump from 10 to 14, a growth of 40%! Total seats’ capacity will grow as well by almost 40%.
The carrier is already planning to add new capacities to and from Northeast Asia. Few announcements have been done so far. However, RBA already announced to launch a weekly service from Bandar Seri Begawan to Hangzhou in China PRC. The carrier will fly every Tuesday from February 6, 2018 in an Airbus A320. The airline also announced to boost capacities to Seoul in South Korea. The new regular service has been launched in October last year. Royal Brunei will from May 8,2018 offer a third frequency per week, every Tuesday with an Airbus A320.
Biggest news will however be the relaunch of regular services to Beijing. Negotiations have been conducted all along 2017 and RBA is confident to be able to start the service in the first months of this year. Originally, the flight was due to start in December but it has been delayed because of longer time for some more approvals.
In another development, RBA reopened in December 2017 its newly refreshed and upgraded Sky Lounge and introduced the new flagship Business Class Lounge at Brunei International Airport on 06 December 2017.
The RB Business Class Lounge takes on board the needs of the sophisticated and frequent travellers that is RB’s business class guests and Royal Skies gold members with a capacity of 72 passengers.
RB upgraded sky lounge is open to Royal Skies Silver members, corporate guests, customer airline guests and for the first time in Brunei, to walk-in guests. RB is pleased to welcome Priority Pass customers to its lounge and is in discussions with other corporates who have shown interest in getting access to the lounge. These will be announced in due course. The lounge can accommodate up to 120 travellers.
It also features now buffet dining as well as a movie room, kids room, a family zone and a gaming area.
Brunei’s overall market, which is dominated by Royal Brunei, could grow by 30% once all the aircraft are delivered. Brunei is ASEAN smallest air transport market with a total annual output of two million passengers.