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Royal Brunei To Order A320, Cuts B777 Fleet  
User currently offlinefauzi From Brunei, joined Jul 2005, 219 posts, RR: 0
Posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 11752 times:

In a press release sent to the media on Saturday, the airline announced a brief overview of what is coming up under the new management

Highlights include
- BI to add 1 A320 by Spring 2012
- Cuts to Brisbane, Perth, Auckland, Kuching and Ho Chi Minh will also mean reducing the fleet of B777
- Data shows that no more than 9% of long-haul traffic originates or ends in Brunei
- Over 75% of regional traffic originates or ends in Brunei
- Additional A320 will improve and strengthen the regional network, before they can continue with long-haul
- Arrival of B787s in 2013 will further fuel and strengthen the growth

http://www.bt.com.bn/opinion/2011/07/30/rba-going-back-its-roots


BI - The Asian Underdog
32 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineJoKeR From Serbia, joined Nov 2004, 2238 posts, RR: 9
Reply 1, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 10581 times:

Painful but logical. Kangaroo route become over competitive and BI is simply too small of an airline to finance this "fight" over an extended period without inflicting itself with major losses.

Wish BI a bright and properous future!



Kafa, čaj, šraf?
User currently offlineIndianicWorld From Australia, joined Jun 2001, 2979 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 10503 times:

Where will they fly the 787s to though? It's still a plane with significant capacity to fill.

In a way, the changes BI are making seem to follow a similar tune to that of GF. They both have begun thinking more of themselves as regional carriers than global competitors.


User currently offlinesomething From United Kingdom, joined May 2011, 1633 posts, RR: 21
Reply 3, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 9887 times:

I'm not quite sure who'd fly them, to be honest. Their fares are never the cheapest, nobody knows who or what they are, Brunei is a rather questionable place, and the flight isn't even non-stop. It's LHR-DXB-BWN-xxx. They also have no feed into LHR whatsoever.

So who would actually fly them, not knowing what they're getting themselves into, with two en-route stops, when you can do the same with one-stop, on more reputable airlines for lower fares?



..sick of it. -K. Pilkington.
User currently offlineLondonCity From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2008, 1494 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 8941 times:

Quoting something (Reply 3):
I'm not quite sure who'd fly them, to be honest. Their fares are never the cheapest, nobody knows who or what they are, Brunei is a rather questionable place, and the flight isn't even non-stop. It's LHR-DXB-BWN-xxx.

But it never used to be like this. In years gone by, RB did offer competitive fares and especially in J class. If you read the article in The Brunei Times you will see that fierce competition from the Gulf-based carriers (which has forced down yields) has much to do with RB's decision to reduce its kangaroo route services.


User currently offlinesomething From United Kingdom, joined May 2011, 1633 posts, RR: 21
Reply 5, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 8710 times:

Quoting LondonCity (Reply 4):
fierce competition from the Gulf-based carriers (which has forced down yields) has much to do with RB's decision to reduce its kangaroo route services.

Well but if kangaroo route is the market they're after, why make life harder and stop over in DXB on both ways? Garuda Indonesia does the same thing on their AMS flights and that alone would be reason enough for me to choose SQ, MH or TG over them anytime. Which I have also done in the past.



..sick of it. -K. Pilkington.
User currently offlineidlewild From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 137 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 8483 times:
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Doesn't Brunei have a history with long-range wide-bodies? I believe they had an order of A343s, but wound up with one. And that was used as the sultan's private jet. I kind of remember them going back and forth with Triple-7s as well. I'm kind of surprised they don't have an all business class flight from Houston. Considering there seems to some oil to oil routes like Edmonton and Lusaka. Are there no American oil companies doing business in Brunei?

User currently offlinejgw787 From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 208 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 6751 times:

The fact is that most of the long haul traffic is connecting. This airline is to bring people to Brunei for them to stay, not to stop over. I understand the importance of a hub, but Brunei needs business and transit people just dont cut it.

User currently offlinebrad330 From Australia, joined Dec 2009, 85 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 6316 times:

I am not surprised they are having to make these cuts I just purchased BNE-BWN-LHR return in J for only 1850 pounds!

User currently offlineMillwallSean From Singapore, joined Apr 2008, 1244 posts, RR: 6
Reply 9, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 5435 times:

Quoting something (Reply 3):
I'm not quite sure who'd fly them, to be honest. Their fares are never the cheapest, nobody knows who or what they are, Brunei is a rather questionable place, and the flight isn't even non-stop. It's LHR-DXB-BWN-xxx. They also have no feed into LHR whatsoever.

BI need the stop in Dubai for their maid-express. One of the few things ,that fills seats. A nonstop to London doesnt fill any plane that BI has. these days we start to see contractors bring in workers from Dubai as well, constructionworkers etc.
most people building and maintaining the roads are today indians brought in from Dubai and not the old timorse etc that used to work doing these kind of jobs.
BI use BMI to spread pax to I belive 4 destinations in the UK, but as you say this is very small amounts.

Quoting idlewild (Reply 6):
Are there no American oil companies doing business in Brunei?

Brunei is Shell. Shell is completely dominant among all oil related companies. The US companies that are here are the likes of Schlumberger etc that assists Shell. But Brunei Shell Marketing is the one and only player that matters in Brunei.

In general American oilcompanies have very little presence on Borneo. Its very European here, Brunei especially. English teachers from England, defence force in close cooperation with the brits and always a gurkha regiment in the country and all that. the sultan has very very close links to Britain.

Murphys Oil have found some oil outside Sabah though we shall see how it develops. Outide of Petronas, Nippon Oil is the largest non Euro player.
the US companies that are here are here are the subcontractors or rigcompanies.

Back to BI. The expat circles say more than this is coming in regards to the restructuring. Alot of the expat pilot base will say good bye, Amadeus IT coming in, its contractors have been regulars at the barscene at peoples houses (Brunei is dry except for expats that get to bring in certain amounts cue caravans of expats going to Miri every weekend)
MEL cancelled. More frequency to SIN etc etc. We shall see I heard there will be three faces of the rerstructuring and that face 3 is still being debated.



No One Likes Us - We Dont Care.
User currently offlinesomething From United Kingdom, joined May 2011, 1633 posts, RR: 21
Reply 10, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 5368 times:

Quoting MillwallSean (Reply 9):
BI need the stop in Dubai for their maid-express. One of the few things ,that fills seats. A nonstop to London doesnt fill any plane that BI has. these days we start to see contractors bring in workers from Dubai as well, constructionworkers etc.

Then why don't they terminate the service there? The LHR-DXB sector should not be a very attractive market for them and those that go beyond DXB, or even beyond BWN, can hardly justify the 7hrs. DXB-LHR-DXB portion.

I can't help but think it's kept alive for prestige only. The Sultan of Brunei flies his 767 to FRA for maintenance and the A340-200 and even more so V8-ALI visit Hamburg at least 8 times a year.



..sick of it. -K. Pilkington.
User currently offlinefiscal From Australia, joined Oct 2009, 330 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 4870 times:

Quoting something (Reply 3):
I'm not quite sure who'd fly them, to be honest. Their fares are never the cheapest,

From a UK point of view, you are quite correct. EK, for instance, have been conducting some predatory pricing of late. UK residents are the winners. Take for instance a return J fare London to Australia. I checked a number of dates over the next six months and you can get a return for $4900AUD (Australians have to pay $7900 for the same route) and Royal Brunei is around $5000AUD with a multi stop flight and lesser privileges.

It will be a shame to see them leave Perth as they have had a loyal following. Their 767 economy service was always a pleasant trip with ample room in the 2-3-2 seats, and were bliss compared to the 3-3-3 or whatever the 777 introduced to the equation. (I hate 3 seat economy with a vengeance)  

Ah well, at least we have AirAsiaX to provide affordable J type seats.


User currently offlineMillwallSean From Singapore, joined Apr 2008, 1244 posts, RR: 6
Reply 12, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 4849 times:

Quoting something (Reply 10):
I can't help but think it's kept alive for prestige only. The Sultan of Brunei flies his 767 to FRA for maintenance and the A340-200 and even more so V8-ALI visit Hamburg at least 8 times a year.

All longhaul routes on BI is for prestige!
They don't make money hasn't done so in many years, if ever...

Brunei has 350.000 inhabitants and virtually only one industry petroleum.

Dubai as a standalone wont make money either.
Combining London and Dubai has its good and bad sides. I do believe it speaks volumes that despite leasing the 777, ( a very very bad idea int he first place) an aircraft capable of flying nonstop, BI chose to continue with the stopover in Dubai.

And some people say BI isn't cheap. Well they are the cheapest out of Australia and NZ usually.
From its part of Asia they are by far the cheapest non lowcost airline.

Sultans fleet of private jets though are something different from BI. Where he and his family flies doesn't affect BI. he has the cash to pay for maintenance anywhere in the world...

If you visit BWN you'll see some pretty large hangars opposite the small terminal. That's where the royal jets spend considerable time. When those doors are open one gets some nice views indeed.
The runway in MYY, 20 minutes drive from the border between Malaysia and Brunei, sees on a monthly basis a Brunei 747 doing touch and goes to keep certain royal aviators skills up to date.



No One Likes Us - We Dont Care.
User currently offlineIndianicWorld From Australia, joined Jun 2001, 2979 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 4766 times:

^^ I can see them dropping LHR and MEL in the next round, with DXB a possibility also. The airline could codeshare on other carriers via the other hubs. MEL was a strange move, especially as there are so many other options here, and the fact that advertising has been non existent just makes it worse. LHR is also unlikely to have any chance of working without the feed from Australasia.

The main issue is where the 787s will go, as they are unlikely to help greatly on many routes. Might be time to cancel those now, focusing on A320 flying. It might also be best to close down at this rate, as it really has no competitive strong points that can't be handled by other carriers.

Things are not looking great for them, given that they are becoming more irrelevant as a business by the day.


User currently offlinealangirvan From New Zealand, joined Nov 2000, 2106 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 4764 times:

OK.so Royal Brunei is a hobby airline, but they could still have done better. Life may have been easier thirty years ago, but Malaysia Airlines and Thai both started long haul with a handful of planes. MH started flying to London, with a few DC-10s, and there were a lot of stops between Australia and the UK. SYD-MEL-KUL three times weekly, then KUL-DXB (or Kuwait)-FRA/AMS/CDG-LHR. Then they got their first two 747s, a couple of cancelled BA planes.

Some people have said that Brunei should be going after visitors to Brunei, rather than stopover traffic, but Stopover traffic is very important to the big airlines. CX uses subsidised stopovers to get people to ride on the less popular day light flights between HKG and London. MH uses free side trips to get people onto their Australia to UK services.

I can only look at the on line brochures at the RB website - a couple of bus trips and some meals would help people find something to do for 48 hours in Brunei. You could say that many of Singapore's attractions are artificial, like the world's highest artificial waterfall in the Bird Park. Brunei does not always need that - just a couple of quiet days between long flights would be fine for a lot of people.

Number of stops between Australia/NZ and UK is not a total problem - in fact many of Emirates flights are more than one stop between Australian East Coast and Europe. Two of the three EK flights each day between MEL and DXB have stops in KUL or SIN.

They could have made better use of their Reps in other countries. In NZ, they have a had a very good company representing, a company that represents many airlines in this country. They did not have good connecting fares to AKL, so this did make them not so attractive to travellers from outside AKL. Plus, they had some strange arrival times into AKL, like 0300. I have sometimes seen good deals available on Royal Brunei through Flight Centre, but not very often.


User currently offlinecchan From New Zealand, joined May 2003, 1761 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 4647 times:

Quoting something (Reply 3):
So who would actually fly them, not knowing what they're getting themselves into, with two en-route stops, when you can do the same with one-stop, on more reputable airlines for lower fares?

Sometimes they are the cheapest, especially when you are looking at one way fares. Done AKL-BWN-HKG with them in Dec 2008, they were the cheapest option. I think they are a reputable airline.

Quoting something (Reply 3):
Brunei is a rather questionable place

It is a great place, although not many tourist attractions.

Quoting MillwallSean (Reply 12):
The runway in MYY, 20 minutes drive from the border between Malaysia and Brunei, sees on a monthly basis a Brunei 747 doing touch and goes to keep certain royal aviators skills up to date.

That explains why I saw the royal A340 doing touch and go several times at BWN.

Quoting alangirvan (Reply 14):
Some people have said that Brunei should be going after visitors to Brunei, rather than stopover traffic

Most passengers don't enter BWN, there is very little tourist attraction there.

[Edited 2011-07-31 21:28:43]

User currently offlineIndianicWorld From Australia, joined Jun 2001, 2979 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 4623 times:

^^ Maybe they should build some attractions. Building the tourism industry would go a long way to filling seats.

I've heard BWN described as one of the most boring cities around, so that's hardly a ringing endorsement of what's there now unfortunately.


User currently offlinealangirvan From New Zealand, joined Nov 2000, 2106 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 4479 times:

Quoting IndianicWorld (Reply 16):

I've heard BWN described as one of the most boring cities around, so that's hardly a ringing endorsement of what's there now unfortunately.

No, Queanbeyan would be less interesting than BWN. (maybe Queanbeyan should have its own airport)


User currently offlineMillwallSean From Singapore, joined Apr 2008, 1244 posts, RR: 6
Reply 18, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 4391 times:

Quoting IndianicWorld (Reply 16):
I've heard BWN described as one of the most boring cities around, so that's hardly a ringing endorsement of what's there now unfortunately.

If boring is in regards to nightlife yes. But in regards to architecture, sports, diving, food-outlets, resorts, fishing, golf etc its a decent place. Great for trekking, lots of unspoilt nature, real rainforest, waterfalls and ponds that are topnotch. The watervillage is touristique as well. Bandar as a city isn't bad. Its no metropolis but for a city of say 100.000 its good. Think of your own country's cities with 100.000 inhabitants and what they offer. I think Bandar beats most hands down.

It suffers enormously from the dry country decision. A few bars, some controlled nightlife would make the difference. But its their country and their choices.
For us that lives in Brunei we go to KK or Miri when we want to enjoy ourselves. Its only a short drive away anyway. And as bad roads as state highway 1 between Hamilton and Auckland...

KB where most oilers tend to live is a different animal. Not much there at all, on the other hand, the few kiwis I have met in Brunei prefer iKB to where they usually have to live in NZ when working in the oilindustry; New Plymouth...
Everything is relative. Most oilers see Brunei as one of the best postings that's around.

Brunei isn't bad as a tourist destination as it is. perfect for a two day break away. But the thing with Brunei is that they need to market themselves as Borneo. Add on a week in Sabah/KK etc and all of a sudden Brunei is a real nice place to visit. The transfertours that used to be offered by BI weren't bad. Problem is they are unreliable.

Its good that they are addressing customer service though because BI sucks at it. On the plane they are fine. But their office staff is one of the worst around. they have the worst record in SE Asia in regards to loosing FF miles. And don't even try to send in your details, the person in charge of missing FF miles just throws the letters away.
It was so bad that Shell brought it up with BI top management using some very strong language.
Add on childmeals missing, catering failing even halal meals etc and they have a service problem.

BI can be a great regional airline. They can offer a London route for prestige and some gulf for religious reasons. But they dont need to be a player on the kangaroo route. The 787 wont change BI:s competitive environment or for that sake be anything close to a gamechanger for them. Its smaller and thus more suited for BI though.
I must say that for me BI is always the cheapest option flying from AKL. As long as they fly to my destination its hard to get lower fares on full service airlines. On the other hand I would never buy a ticket from Flightcentre or House of travel.



No One Likes Us - We Dont Care.
User currently offlinesomething From United Kingdom, joined May 2011, 1633 posts, RR: 21
Reply 19, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 4166 times:

Quoting MillwallSean (Reply 18):

You point on many good things about Brunei and I'm sure it's worth to be seen. But exactly why should anyone choose to spend his one or two day lay-over in Brunei, and not Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore or Hong Kong? And what most people tend to forget. Even PVG, PEK, NRT, ICN etc. don't add any distance to the trip. So why out of all places would one visit Brunei? It just doesn't seem like a very economical decision to me. And that's, at the end of the day, what people base their purchase decision on. Getting the most out of their money. And from what I see, the only appeal to Brunei is its exoticness. Most people don't even know where Brunei is. But that, I presume, is only a selling point to those few people who've seen everything twice already. Not exactly something to sustain a market on.



..sick of it. -K. Pilkington.
User currently offlineIndianicWorld From Australia, joined Jun 2001, 2979 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 3928 times:

^^ Very true. It may have it's good points, but it is overshadowed by other options in the region unfortunately.

Btw, the comments about BWN being a fairly boring destination were taken from numerous travel reports I have seen over the years. I have not been there myself, so only going off those comments I have seen. It might be best to develop the tourist product though to really add a new dimension to travellers to choose BWN.


User currently offlineLondonCity From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2008, 1494 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 3893 times:

Quoting IndianicWorld (Reply 20):
It might be best to develop the tourist product though to really add a new dimension to travellers to choose BWN.

I believe there is not a great choice of hotels in BWN. But in any case, would the Brunei government welcome mass tourism knowing that some of these travellers might not respect local culture and traditions ?


User currently offlinemikey86 From Australia, joined Jul 2011, 160 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 3761 times:

Quoting something (Reply 3):
I'm not quite sure who'd fly them, to be honest. Their fares are never the cheapest, nobody knows who or what they are, Brunei is a rather questionable place, and the flight isn't even non-stop. It's LHR-DXB-BWN-xxx. They also have no feed into LHR whatsoever

I would say I have to disagree. Their fares are almost the cheapest all the time. It just comes down to the availability of their cheapest fare when you book. Its a shame that they will leave BNE! I hope this doesnt result in an increase of fares!



mikey86 - Greenslopes, Queensland
User currently offlineAirbusA6 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 2013 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 3632 times:

Having spent a couple days in BWN, I quite enjoyed it. Stunning mosques, interesting kampungs and quite rural as well. Being dry is a bit of a blow, but I ccccccan survive..I don't have a problem....  

One problem Brunei, is that Malaysian Borneo is a lot cheaper, so if you want to visit jungles, long houses ec, Kuching and KK are tempting options, and easily accessible via KL.



it's the bus to stansted (now renamed national express a4 to ruin my username)
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25376 posts, RR: 49
Reply 24, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 3492 times:

Sad to see some of the beautiful painted RBA 777 go, but economic realities need to dictate.


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Photo © Krzysztof Kaczala



However a renewed focus on the Asian regional market makes total sense. Primary focus on serving the top O&D Brunei markets while working on establishing a few commercial agreements with other carriers to provide good beyond connections is a logical path for the small nation carrier to pursue.

Quoting IndianicWorld (Reply 2):
Where will they fly the 787s to though?

How about their aspirations of the US West Coast service?   

With a good connection flight or two to places like MNL, SGN they should be able to fill it rather well. (at profit who knows)



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
25 something : Maybe they're cheaper when booked from OZ? A previous post suggested that UK-OZ fares are significantly cheaper when booked in Britain. A colleague o
26 fauzi : Let's hope the current management is sane enough to not go down that road... Just bought a J-class ticket BWN - LHR for 2000gbp, so that's a pretty g
27 eta unknown : The press release was remarkable in what it didn't say- you need to read between the lines- more cuts are coming. To address some points above: God wi
28 alangirvan : When I looked at the BI website, Borneo is one of the holiday packages that they offer on the site - but how many people go to the website? Malaysia
29 eta unknown : Again it comes down to the same aforementioned problem: the overseas offices are given next to no marketing support by head office. Marketing is ther
30 fiscal : That is unusual. Of the four international carriers that depart BNE on this route (without domestic connections) I would have thought that EK would h
31 vincewy : A bit too late at this point but instead of Kangaroo market, would those long haul routes be sustainable had RBA focused on MNL (maybe even CEB and DV
32 IndianicWorld : ^^ Probably not. Its all hyperthetical, but given that potential yields to those destinations, except maybe CGK, are not really that high, and there h
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