Royal Brunei

From Academic Kids

Missing image
Royal Brunei Airlines Boeing 767-300

Royal Brunei Airlines is the international airline of the Sultanate of Brunei.


Code Data

  • IATA Code: BI
  • ICAO Code: RBA
  • Callsign: Brunei


Royal Brunei Airlines was established on November 18, 1974. The airline initially acquired two Boeing 737's, one of which was put on service for the airline on April 14 of 1975, when their first flight took place, from the brand new Brunei International Airport to Singapore. Hong Kong, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching were also added as destinations in 1975.

1976 and 1977 saw the airline's slow but steady growth continue. Manila was added in 1976, and Bangkok in 1977.

Royal Brunei acquired a third 737 in 1980, allowing the airline to reach cities like Kuala Lumpur in 1981, Darwin, Australia in 1983 and Jakarta in 1984.

1985 was the beginning of a ground breaking period for the company. After buying three Boeing 757 aircraft, the airline started to plan flights to Europe for the first time. That period culminated with the opening in 1990 with their first route to the old continent, when they started services to Frankfurt, Germany. In between, the company also opened flights to Taipei in 1986, and Dubai in 1988, all using the newest jet on their fleet.

By then, the airline's rapid expansion made it a necessity to sell the 737s and buy Boeing 767 aircraft. The first delivery of this type of aircraft for Royal Brunei broke a world record when it flew 17 hours and 55 minutes non stop from the Boeing company in Seattle to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya., on its way to Brunei.

In 1990, the airline started flying to London Gatwick Airport, but in 1991, services were changed to London Heathrow Airport.

Seven more 767s were delivered, taking the fleet to eight 767s and two Boeing 757's. 1991 also saw the opening of a route to Jeddah.

In 1993, Abu Dhabi, Cairo, Zürich, Beijing and Bahrain were added to the ruote system. In 1994, it was Brisbane, Miri, Labuan, Osaka and Balikpapan's turn to join. 1995 saw the airline arriving at Calcutta and in 1996, Royal Bruniei's jets began making their way to Bintulu and Yangon. Several of these routes would later have to be cut off because of government or economic restrictions, among them, Cairo and Osaka.

In 1997, Surabaya was added, Kuwait in 2000 and Pu Dong International Airport, Shanghai in 2001. Currently, Royal Brunei has worked a code sharing agreement with Malaysia Airlines.

As Brunei is an Islamic society, where the sale of alcohol is forbidden, Royal Brunei does not serve alcohol on board its flights, and all meat served is halal.

Two Fokker 50 aircraft were delivered in 1995. The delivery enable Royal Brunei to make their way to Bintulu and Yangon, but in mid 1996, F-50s were replaced by the larger and more comfortable F-100 jet.The jets were subsequently sold in due course to Alpi Eagles Airlines in the year 1998. Royal Brunei sold its last B737-200s to Aloha Airlines of Hawaii in 1993.

In August 1997, Royal Brunei’s world acclaimed safety recorded suffered a blow when one of its Dornier 228 carrying 19 passengers to Miri, a nearby oil-town, crashed into a mountain.All 19 passengers and two crews perished in the disaster. The crash marked the end of the intra-Borneo services of Royal Brunei.

In 2001,Royal Brunei went to cyber-business with its Online Booking facilities,reaching customers who otherwise could not go to the airline’s traditional booking outlet.

With years of unprofit operation, Royal Brunei began major restructuring in year 2003. Under the Stratigic plan are: • Royal Brunei’s fleet will grow from 10 aircrafts in 2003 to 18 aircrafts by the year 2013.The fleet which now consists of 6 Boeing 767 and one B757 will be changed to 12 new narrow-bodied aircraft and 6 wide-bodied aircraft. Half of the new aircrafts will be leased and the other will be purchased. • Royal Brunei plans to inaugurate services to Auckland, Tokyo, Ho Chi Minh City, Sydney and Seoul.

For the year 2004 to 2008, Royal Brunei will invest $324 million to buy new narrow-bodied aircraft. For the year 2008 to 2013, Royal Brunei will invest $730 million to buy new wide-bodied aircraft and also new narrow-bodied aircraft to replace the current fleet of B767-300 aircraft. New wide-bodied aircraft may be either the A340 or the B777.

Kuwait was suspended in 2001. Major restructuring also saw some unprofitable route like Abu Dhabi being dropped in late 2003.

In 2003,the deliveries of the new Airbus A319 and A320 marked the start of Royal Brunei’s re-fleeting exercise.Two A319 was delivered on August 28 and September 3 respectively.A320s were added December 9 and January 3,2005.All of the Airbus were leased from CIT Aerospace of USA in a seven year contract. The Airbuses fly mainly on the regional route. With the introduction of new aircraft, the Boeing 757 is gradually being phased out or sold to other parties.

Another product that was launched in May 2003 to boost sales as well as customer royalty was Royal Skies, the airlines’ frequent flyer programme,which stes itself apartfrom ather loyalty programmes with its straightforward simplicity and generosity in redeeming rewards.

In October 2003, a new “food fit to fly by” concept was introduced in Royal Brunei’s inflight menus. Featuring healthier and lighter meat options, it ws designed by Chef Michel Roux Jr. of the Le Gavroche restaurant in London. On 31st Oct, Royal Brunei’s jet touch down at Auckland International Airport.

By end of the year 2003, Royal Brunei entered a controversial agreement with Royal Tongan Airlines of Tonga. Under the agreement, Royal Tongan Airlines was to wet-lease one of the two remaning B757 of Royal Brunei. In return, Royal Brunei was given the opportunities to open its market to the US. The deal was proved to be futile as Royal Tongan Airlines went into bankruptcy with huge debt in mid 2004, less than 6 months of operation. As Royal Tongan Airlines was unable to pay the fees, the B757 was repossesed and stored in Auckland International Airport to today. The proposal to lease the B757, which was deemed too big for small island like Tonga, was rejected by the Tonga government at first but the King went ahead with the plan without even consulting the government. The last B757 was retired from Royal Brunei fleet in early 2005.

In January, 2004, it launched Bluesky Fares, a low cost internet booking engine facility, offering great value economy class fares to selected destinations, to fight with low cost carriers in the region. In March 2004,Royal Brunei’s aircraft went through a mojor revamp. The airline introduced the SkyDreamer seats in its retrofitted B767 Business Class replacing the old First Class and Business Class’ Skyluxe seats. Business Class was renamed as Sky Executive Class. In Economy class each seats are installed with 8.4 inch personal TV.

As an added convinence,the airlines had code-shared agreement with Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, British Midland(bmi) and Dragon Air of Hong Kong. Taipei,a route that was deemded unprofitable since its’ launch, was suspended in late 2004. Kuching and Kolkata (Calcutta) were dropped on Oct 31,2004 due to the rising oil prices, but at the same time, Sydney was added.

In early 2005, it spin-off its engineering department as a separate entity, known as Royal Brunei Engineering, offering airframe maintenance, technical and material support services. Its base maintenance facilities in Brunei is specialised in B757 and B767 heavy frame maintenance. It is currently gearing up to provide similar services to the A320 family of aircraft.


The Royal Brunei Airlines fleet consists of the following aircraft (at March 2005):

External Links

Lists of Aircraft | Aircraft manufacturers | Aircraft engines | Aircraft engine manufacturers

Airports | Airlines | Air forces | Aircraft weapons | Missiles | Timeline of aviation

Resources: • Borneo Bulletin Brunei Yearbook • Muhibah;inflight magazine of Royal Brunei

de:Royal Brunei


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