Royal Brunei Airlines takes on a ’boutique’ hue

ROYAL Brunei Airlines (RBA) is repositioning itself as a ‘boutique’ airline, having tided over a challenging period in the past couple of years.

“The whole industry went through challenging times and RBA is not immune to winds of the turbulence,” Dermot Mannion, deputy chairman, RBA told TTG Asia e-Daily in an exlusive interview.

“We have been restructuring our business in recent months, and are now refocused as a boutique airline with strong regional franchise and operating only to strategic longhaul destinations.”

In line with its revamped concept, Brunei’s flagship carrier will soon have its daily Dubai-London service linked via Bandar Seri Begawan to Melbourne, through the commencement of daily Melbourne flights.

“The daily and same-time (Melbourne) service through Brunei to the regional and longhaul networks will be an attractive product for Australia, the Middle East and London,” said Mannion, who hinted at plans to implement similar network extensions to destinations such as Manila, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Besides its new strategic longhaul product, Asian countries are also being targeted as key markets for RBA, which hopes to fly to Shanghai and expand its regional network over time.

Meanwhile, RBA has been undergoing a makeover that will see the carrier “rebranded, revitalised and refocused” with new customer service offerings based on Bruneian traditions, according to Mannion.

“Hospitality and tranquility attributes associated with Brunei traditions will be emphasised in our improved customer service,” he explained.

RBA also hopes to up the ante in the customer service stakes once it takes delivery of its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner in August next year.

“I am confident that as we migrate our longhaul product to the 787, we can offer a higher quality service to meet our passengers’ aspirations,” said Mannion.

Reporting by Jennifer Phang

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