The new Melbourne service of Royal Brunei Airlines (RBA), starting on March 29, 2011 (see news), is part of its strategy to consider destinations within a seven-hour flight radius of the country.
These include “Taipei, Tokyo and possibly Incheon,” Riaz Moiz, RBA executive vice-president of commercial and planning, told Business Traveller.
Moiz expected the traffic between Brunei’s capital, Bandar Seri Begawan and Victoria state’s capital, Melbourne to consist of local residents and travellers transiting from points the carrier serves such as London, Northeast Asia (through Shanghai and Hong Kong) and Southeast Asia. “We all know that Brunei as a standalone (destination) is a tough sell.”
As for the return flights, he said: “Majority of those passing through our hub from our current points in Brisbane and Perth go onto Europe, with a fair amount going onto other parts of Asia. But overall, Melbourne will strengthen our Australian operations and attract travellers from the southern part such as Adelaide and Tasmania to fly with us.”
The carrier is finalising orders for five Boeing Dreamliner 787s, which will replace some of its aging aircraft. RBA chief executive officer Robert Yang earlier told the Borneo Bulletin Weekend that he hoped delivery would start in 2012, although such timing may now have to be adjusted with a fire incident on a Dreamliner test flight this week (see news).
At press time, the manufacturer Boeing could not yet determine the impact this would have on the "overall programme schedule".
For more on RBA, visit www.bruneiair.com
Margie T Logarta