Brunei Airlines, the country's
flag carrier, was established on 18 November 1974 as an
independent corporation wholly owned by the government of
Its Chairman is Pehin Dato Paduka Haji
Hazair Bin Haji Abdullah, who is also a Permanent Secretary
in the Prime Minister's Office.
The Chief Executive Officer is Peter Foster and Pengiran
Mohd Yusof bin Pengiran Haji Jeludin is Acting Deputy Chief
Other Brunei citizens hold the directorial posts within the
departments of Commercial, Engineering, Corporate Strategy,
Customer Services and Administration and Personnel Services.
With an initial fleet of two Boeing 737-200s, Royal Brunei
Airline's first scheduled service was inaugurated on May 14,
1975 to Singapore.
Within the same year too, the airline started its services
to Hong Kong, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching in Malaysia.
Manila and Bangkok were inaugurated in
1976 and 1977, respectively, and following the purchase of a
third B737-200QC Combi in 1980, the airline expanded to
include Kuala Lumpur (1981), Darwin (1983) and Jakarta
Three new extended range B757-200 aircraft
were delivered in 1986. Subsequently, Taipei was inaugurated
the same year, followed by Dubai (1988) and Frankfurt
In June 1990, Royal Brunei took delivery
of its first B767300ER aircraft. With the delivery of the
B767 aircraft, the airline expanded to London Gatwick (1990)
and Perth (1991). Twice-weekly services to London Heathrow,
instead of London Gatwick, began on May 7, 1991.
The 1990s were a banner decade,
inaugurating services to Jeddah (1991), Denpasar (1993),
Brisbane (1994) and Kolkata (1995).
Services to Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Zurich, Beijing and Cairo
(1993), Osaka and Balikpapan (1994), Bintulu and Yangon
(1996) and Kuwait (2000) were also introduced but these have
since been suspended.
On December 1, 1996, Royal Brunei
increased its frequencies from Bandar Seri Begawan to London
Heathrow to daily operations.
Twice-weekly services to Surabaya were launched in 1997.
This was followed by Shanghai in 2001 and Auckland in 2003.
The deliveries of two new Airbus A319
aircraft (August and September 2003) marked the beginning of
Royal Brunei's re-fleeting exercise to provide its customers
with-improved levels of comfort.
On September 13, 2003, His Majesty Sultan
Hj Hassanal Bolkiah graced the airline with a visit, flying
the A319 himself.
Two more Airbus A320s were delivered in
December 2003 and January 2004 respectively.
Royal Brunei Airlines currently operates a
fleet of six Boeing B767-300s, two Airbus A320s and two
To date, Royal Brunei provides scheduled
services to 20 destinations across Asia, the Middle East,
Australasia and Europe. Sydney, the latest destination, was
launched on 31st October 2004.
New services to Seoul, Ho Chi Minh City and Tokyo are
planned for 2005/6. As an added convenience to its
passengers, the airline has code-share agreements with
Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, British Midland,
Philippine Airlines and Dragon Air of Hong Kong.
Code-sharing allows passengers to co-ordinate flights for
seamless travel to a wider choice of destinations.
Passenger figures have since grown from
46,831 in 1975/6 to 1,160,431 in 2003/4, while cargo carried
has risen from 504,923 kilograms to 37,817,391 kilograms
Products And Services
Major developments have taken place within Royal Brunei
recently in line with its ongoing commitment to provide
passengers with superior product and services.
In March 2004, the airline introduced its new flatbed
SkyDreamer seats in its retrofitted B767 Business Class
The SkyDreamer seat offers maximum comfort as it can extend
to 75 inches when fully reclined. The podded seat feature
and a personal pull-up screen provide extra privacy.
Each seat comes equipped with in-seat power connector and a
10.4 inch personal TV. New economy class scats
featuring 8.4-inch personal TVs have also been installed.
To complement the new seats, Royal Brunei
has installed the latest Thales i-4000 series personal
inflight entertainment system in the entire cabin. The new
system, branded as SkyShow, offers a new level of service
with 17 video on-demand selections, 5 broadcast video
channels, 10 games, more than 50 CDs audio-on-demand and 12
channels of continuous audio entertainment in a variety of
languages. More options arc added on monthly.
SkyDreamer and SkyShow is now available on
four of the airline's B767s.
In October 2003, a new "food fit to fly
by" meal concept was introduced into Royal Brunei's inflight
menus featuring healthier and lighter meal options.
Bringing together the best of Asian
virtues and hospitality, Royal Brunei's multilingual cabin
crew from the Asean countries delivers quality service
onboard the flights.
Royal Skies, the airline's frequent flyer programme which
was launched in May 2003, sets itself apart from other
loyalty programmes with its straightforward simplicity and
generosity in redeeming rewards.
Royal Skies members are able to enjoy their rewards much
quicker as redemption begins from as low as just 5,000
The programme has been commended by one of the world's
leading commentator of frequent flyer programmes, Colloquy,
as "a spiffy new frequent-flyer program... simple to
understand, and aligned closely with passenger revenue".
Royal Brunei Airlines Service Centre at the Brunei
International Airport was opened on 29 December 2003 to
serve as a convenient one-stop centre to provide customers
with travel-related services such as reservations, ticketing
and booking of tour packages.
SkyLounge, Royal Brunei Airlines' premium lounge at the
Brunei International Airport, was opened in January 2004.
Sky Lounge, which has a seating capacity of about 120, was
designed and furnished with the comfort and convenience of
the airline's premium class passengers in mind.
Aside from an array of refreshment, new
facilities include massage chairs, shower rooms, prayer and
ablution areas for Muslim passengers and large plasma screen
Business travellers now have the option of catching up on
some work at the workstations which offer free internet
access. Wireless internet connection is also available from
anywhere within the lounge.
January 2004 also saw the introduction of BlueSky Fares,
Royal Brunei's low-cost internet booking engine facility,
which offers great value fares to selected destinations.
BlueSky Fares sets itself apart from other low-cost models
by offering extremely affordable fares without compromising
any of the airline's customary services such as
complimentary meals, inflight entertainment, standard
baggage allowance and advance seat selection. Blueskv Fares
can only be purchased online at
Royal Brunei Airlines currently offers
passengers the speed and convenience of Electronic Ticketing
(E-Ticketing) on eight of its destinations.
Passengers travelling between Brunei,
Brisbane, Darwin, Auckland, Perth, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur
and Kota Kinabalu will be issued a copy of the itinerary and
receipt of payment using this new service when they book
on-line or through the airline's ticket offices in these
E-Ticketing provides customers with
greater flexibility, efficiency in booking and is safe. When
a booking is confirmed, all travel details will be stored in
the airline's reservation system.
As data is stored electronically, customers need not worry
about losing their itineraries, which can be re-printed.
Customers who book online will have access to their
itinerary at the time of booking. Upon check-in, passengers
only need to present their passport and the itinerary to
collect their boarding passes.
Royal Brunei's Golden Touch Holidays and Stopover programmes
offer attractive packages for passengers travelling into
Brunei and the other cities that the airline flies to.
Royal Brunei Airlines passenger and cargo sales is
represented by 68 Royal Brunei offices and sales agents in
32 countries, and this list continues to grow with the
airline's expanding network.
In August 2004, Royal Brunei Airlines was upgraded from a
three to four-star airline by Skytrax, the leading research
advisors to the world's airline and air transport industry.
Royal Brunei's four-star ranking places it in the same
category as British Airways, Emirates, Malaysia Airlines,
Qantas and Virgin Atlantic.
World Travel Awards placed Royal Brunei
first in the category of World's Leading First Class for two
consecutive years, from 1999 to 2000. Other nominees in this
category were Singapore Airlines, British Airways, Cathay
Pacific and Emirates.
Muhibah, the airline's in-flight magazine,
was voted first runner-up in the categories of "Best
In-flight Magazine" and "Best In-flight Entertainment Guide
within the Magazine" at the 2002 AVION Awards organised by
World Airline Entertainment Association (WAEA). Muhibah had
also won first place in the "Best Inflight Entertainment
Guide within the Magazine" category of the AVION Awards for
three consecutive years, from 1998 to 2000.
On May 14, 1999, Royal Brunei Airlines
became the first airline outside Europe to be awarded a JAR-
OPS -equivalent Air Operators Certificate (AOC), recognition
that the airline has attained high and consistent standards
JAR-OPS stands for Joint Aviation Requirements in Aircraft
Operations, the standard for 27 European nations. It was
also nominated in the 1998 Travel Weekly Globe Awards as the
best carrier to the Middle East, alongside British Airways,
Emirates and Gulf Air.
Royal Brunei Airlines was placed in the
`Best Airline' category of the 1997 Pata (Pacific Asia
Travel Association) Awards.
Royal Brunei Airlines base maintenance is
fully equipped and specialised in B767 and B757 heavy
Apart from maintaining its own aircraft, the airline also
provides airframe maintenance, technical and materials
support services to third party customer airlines. It is
currently gearing up to provide similar services to the A320
family of aircraft.
In 1997, the airline also acquired a new
generation B767300ER/B757-200ER full-flight simulator to
keep its pilots in top form. This was installed in a
purpose-built facility at the RBA Centre.
Certified by the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority (UK
CAA) to the European JAR STD 1-A standard, all Flight Crew
Initial and Recurrent training is now carried out in-house
by Royal Brunei's own UK CAA-Authorised Training Captains.
The airline has also been successful in marketing simulator
time to other airlines both in Asia and the European
In 1999, His Majesty Sultan Hj Hassanal
Bolkiah tried out the simulator, "flying" around Brunei and
When its first scheduled flight took off for Singapore in
May 1975, Royal Brunei Airlines had a staff of 84. Today it
employs about 1,900 people, 90 per cent of whom are based in
In pursuit of its mandate to develop competitive, high-calibre
personnel, the airline maintains a sustained programme of
recruitment and constant training for staff in all
Its management recognises that despite all the technological
advances, it is still people who spell the difference
between success and failure.
In addition to overseas training offered
to qualified staff, particularly in engineering and flight
operations, the airline has introduced a Continuous
Education Programme (CEP) to enable Bruneian staff to pursue
tertiary and professional qualifications.
To date, 19 Bruneians have attained command rank as Captains
while 35 are Senior First Officers and First Officers.
A General Management Trainee (GMT)
programme was established in June 2003 to recruit and train,
both internally and externally, high-calibre local graduates
who will be expected to provide the backbone of the
airline's senior management in the years to come.
The first group of trainees recruited under the programme
commenced their first posting as Assistant to Managers at
either the airline's Brunei Head Office or at its overseas
stations following their 2-month induction program in
Royal Brunei Catering operates a number of restaurants,
party catering, an aircraft catering facility at Brunei
International Airport and fast food outlets in Brunei
Darussalam, as well as a computerised laundry service.
It earned formal recognition in 1995/96 with an award for
Best Regional Caterer from Singapore Airlines.
Royal Brunei Trading, a subsidiary of
Royal Brunei Catering, handles two of the duty-free shops at
the Brunei International Airport.
Its joint ventures include R.S.H. Sports (Brunei) and
Brunei's only McDonalds' restaurant, which opened in
The Mulaut Abattoir Sdn Bhd which was
privatised in August 1990, provides convenient, hygienic and
Islamicsanctioned slaughtering facilities to local farmers
and butchers, as well as for Qurban, Agigah and other
The abattoir also sells halal meat to the public and
provides for Royal Brunei's inflight catering needs.
The ABACUS Distribution Systems (B) Sdn
Bhd is a Brunei-based company established in 1990. Royal
Brunei Airlines owns 85 percent of it, the remainder by
Singapore's Abacus International.
It hooks up local travel agencies and other subscribers to
the airline's Computer Reservation Systems (CRS). It
provides training, on-site support and a help desk for its
Abacus (B) has connected more than 40 travel agents in
Brunei with a total of 160 terminals and PC equipment.
The RBA Golf Club Sdn Bhd is an 18-hole
golf course with a driving range. It is situated near the
Brunei International Airport.
The Brunei International Air Cargo Centre
(BIACC) is a joint-venture company set up in January 2001
between Royal Brunei Airlines as the majority shareholder,
Circle Freight International and Royal Brunei Technical
Services to handle air cargo into and out of Brunei.
aims to complement and support the efforts and aspirations
of His Majesty's government to establish Brunei as the
Service Hub of Trade and Tourism in the region.
More information on Royal Brunei Airlines
can be obtained from its website. --Courtesy of Brunei Year