*****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.