The carrier now has two of the five 787s it has ordered. RBA is expected to receive their third 787 in Jan-2014 followed by the fourth in Feb-2014. There is no date on delivery date of 787 number five. By April, 2014, its other long haul route (Bandar Seri Begawan to Merlbourne) will also be served by 787s. The new planes are replacing leased Boeing 777s which will go back to Singapore Airlines.
RBA also have a seasonal route: Bandar Seri Begawan to Jeddah which will also make the move to 787s. This will mean RBA will be the first carrier to have a one hundred per cent-787 long-haul operation. (this puts it at risk if there is another 787 grounding). They will also be operating Australia’s first 787 service through to Europe (albiet with two stops).
The Royal Brunei 787 carries 254 passengers compared to 284 on their 777 so capacity will fall by 30 seats as a result of the change. Capacity in its business class cabins will drop from 30 business seats to 18. Current loads are probably around 75 per cent so this will mean RBA will have fewer unfilled seats. With a 20 to 25 per cent reduction in fuel costs, the transition from 777 to 787 will reduce the airline’s losses.
The 236 Economy seats are arranged 3-3-3 with a pitch of 32″ and width 17.2″
Brunei has a population of just over 400,000 and lies at the northern part of the island of Borneo. Its airline is owned by the government but it has signalled it is looking for equity partners in the future.