*****UPDATE: Royal Brunei has now opened its website to accommodate London-Dubai bookings.

I checked fares for London-Dubai travelling out November 9 and returning on November 16.

Already this airline is undercutting Emirates’ economy fares by just over £100. These are official rates. From experience agents will be negotiating keener rates.

Note that this comparison was made at 1430 on September 26. Fares may change depending on demand.*****

Royal Brunei will no longer operate nonstop between London and Bandar Seri Begawan.

Effective November 1 Royal Brunei will operate to Bandar via Dubai, as it did until 2018.

It is expected to gain fifth-freedom rights between London-Dubai and vice versa as happened before.

It means that if approved, Royal Brunei will doubtless offer keen fares through the travel trade.

This is good news for economy-minded corporate travellers and the many expats based in the UAE.

Thrice weekly schedules by B787 are:

BI 98 London Heathrow-Dubai 1700-0415 (following day)

BI 98 Dubai-Bandar Seri Begawan 0545-1730

BI 97 Bandar Seri Begawan-Dubai   2025-0110 (following day)

BI 97  Dubai-London Heathrow 0300-0720

Note that flights depart London every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

Flights depart Bandar Seri Begawan every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

Why stop en-route when its B787 can fly nonstop?

I suspect it’s because Royal Brunei can spread its risks by covering two destinations with one flight.

Secondly, making an en-route stop means better fuel consumption because each sector is what the former CEO of Air Asia X (Osman bin Rani) said was the “sweet spot” [for efficient fuel consumption].

Two points to note:

  • At the time of writing the schedules have been inputted into Royal Brunei’s booking engine but no London-Dubai reservations are currently possible.
  • Royal Brunei is a dry airline. In the past it has allowed passengers to bring their own drinks on board.  As the situation can change I would suggest readers check at time of booking.