Royal Brunei Airlines’ recent reception of its first Airbus A320neo aircraft, designed to serve long-haul regional markets, will translate into new routes into China, Japan and potentially Australia next year.
Royal Brunei Airlines launched officially at the end of September its A320neo fleet with a blessing ceremony at Brunei International Airport.
According to Karam Chand, Royal Brunei Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the “introduction of our A320NEO aircraft is the remaining part of our fleet modernization program and opens up a new phase to pursue further regional growth. We will have all the seven Airbus A320NEOs in our fleet by November 2018, making RB the owner of one of the youngest fleet in the world with an average fleet age of two years. This is something we as the National Airline of Brunei Darussalam are extremely proud of.”
“The new fleet’s cabin features especially the inflight entertainment have exceeded guest expectations and has been applauded as “best in class” and five star for Regional Services. The new fleet will also play a vital role in maintaining and improving our operational reliability which is extremely important as we have a national role to play and provide close to eighty per cent of all seats to/from Brunei,” indicated further Karam Chand.
The Airbus A320neo is also the basis of Royal Brunei new destination marketing strategy and campaign. The carrier introduced for its winter timetable its first non-stop route to London from Brunei coinciding with the introduction of flights to Nanning, Hangzhou and Taipei (next December) to its route network. Haikou is also now served twice a week while another route to China will start on December 18 with two weekly services to Changsha. The carrier just announced to resume its service from Brunei to Kuching in Sarawak by December.
2019 will see the launch of more flights to China with the addition of Beijing and Chengdu while a new route to Tokyo Narita from March 15. The carrier is also evaluating the possibility to return to Brisbane, Darwin or Perth next year, as well as launching a new service to Gold Coast in Northeast Queensland. The strategy will then turn RB Bandar Sri Begawan base into a true hub between Asia and Australia.