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Brunei Darussalam is a sovereign state located on the north coast of the island of Borneo, in Southeast Asia. This small nation-state has one international airport - Brunei International Airport that is served by a number of airlines including Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airlines as well as Royal Brunei Airlines, which is the flag carrier of Brunei Darussalam. The other airport is Anduki Airfield, which provides helicopter flights to near-by destinations. The Department of Civil Aviation is the main regulatory body responsible for any civil air transport operations in this state. This body was set up to bring uniformity and regularity in the developments of the civil aviation sector of Brunei Darussalam.
Airports in Brunei Darussalam
318 total articles
Royal Brunei Airlines would 'love to' cooperate with Gulf carriers but 'probably a little too small'
Royal Brunei Airlines: 737 MAX and A320neo families are blurring lines for airline models and routes
14 total articles
Aeropolitical debate in recent times has highlighted how intertwined aviation is with the economy of the United Arab Emirates. However, attention is usually limited to Dubai and Abu Dhabi, only two of the seven emirates comprising the UAE. Sharjah's airport, next to Dubai, has been able to ride on demand, supported by AirArabia's base there. Now another airport – Ras Al Khaimah (RAK), more northeast from Dubai and Sharjah – is looking to grow its portfolio further.
RAK has focused on charter services, primarily from the UK, Germany and Russia. The latter is obviously slowing, but overall RAK wants to de-emphasise the waning charter segment. And although a new service from Qatar Airways will launch in Feb-2016, RAK is pinning its growth on low cost, offering lower charges than Dubai International or Sharjah, the airport said at the recent CAPA LCC Airports Congress in Bangkok. Its own local carrier RAK Airways failed twice, so instead for a local hub RAK turned to a partnership with Sharjah's LCC Air Arabia, which is due to have five aircraft based at RAK. Air Arabia (currently the only scheduled operator) and future carriers can serve two of RAK's main target markets: Saudi Arabia and India. Both face aeropolitical constraints, so other regional growth is more likely. RAK also hopes to attract services from Eastern Asia – perhaps one of the growing number of long haul, low cost operators.
Royal Brunei Airlines focuses on regional growth as restructuring phase ends, new 5-year plan begins
Royal Brunei Airlines is preparing a new five year business plan which will see it pursue expansion of its regional network within Asia-Pacific. The government-owned flag carrier, which recently celebrated its 40th anniversary, enters a new chapter after completing a restructuring and renewing its widebody fleet.
Royal Brunei (RB) is now evaluating several potential new destinations for 2016 and beyond. Expansion will be made possible mainly by a larger narrowbody fleet, which will grow from six to nine aircraft in the new five-year plan, as well as the delivery of a fifth 787.
The focus will be on expanding regional operations within Asia as RB is unlikely to expand its long-haul network despite performance improvements following the transition to 787s. But the new A320neo fleet will open up opportunities for new medium-haul routes to Australia, South Asia and North Asia.
Royal Brunei Airlines (RBA) should start to see improvements over the next year in its long-haul operation after completing the transition to an all-787 widebody fleet. The long-haul network, which has been highly unprofitable and relies heavily on transit traffic, will also benefit from new regional feed from Bali and Ho Chi Minh.
RBA’s short-haul operation, which is not nearly as unprofitable as it relies primarily on higher yielding point to point traffic, should also see improvements as the network is expanded. Larger gains will come in 2017 when the airline starts to take delivery of A320neos, which will reduce operating costs and open up new medium-haul routes that are too thin for widebodies.
RBA is looking at using the A320neo to resume expansion in Australia and launch services to South Asia. Beijing, Seoul and Tokyo may also be added as part of a new five-year plan. Modest expansion is a realistic scenario for RBA as the flag carrier is now tracking ahead of the targets set in its last five-year plan, which was prepared in 2011 and initially focused on a restructuring.
Boeing's 787 Dreamliner was billed as a "hub-buster", an aircraft that would open new routes and allow passengers to fly non-stop in thinner markets rather than transfer via a hub. With the 787 approaching three years of service, how have airlines used the aircraft? Looking at routes planned for the northern winter 2014/2015 schedule, 17% of 787 routes have been launched with the Dreamliner. The remaining 83% have had the 787 replace or supplement an existing aircraft.
The 787 has had a difficult entry into service, with airlines intending to launch routes with the 787 but having to use other aircraft types as an interim measure. If we include such known examples of routes launched with an interim aircraft and later switched – often mere days or weeks later – to the 787, the share of 787 routes opened with the Dreamliner increases to 20%.
Royal Brunei Airlines leaps forward with 787. Early A320neo or 737MAX slots to provide another boost
Royal Brunei Airlines (RBA) will make a big leap in improving efficiency and profitability on 1-Dec-2013 as the carrier introduces Boeing 787-8s on the Bandar Seri Begawan-Dubai-London Heathrow route. Another leap could occur in 2016 or 2017 as the carrier, somewhat surprisingly given its very small size, has received aggressive proposals and early delivery slots for new-generation narrowbody aircraft.
RBA became in Oct-2013 the first 787 operator in Southeast Asia. It has already taken delivery of two 787-8s, one of which is in static display this week at the 2013 Dubai AirShow. RBA will be the first carrier to operate the 787 between Dubai and London, one of the world’s largest routes, and in Mar-2014 will become the first carrier to have an all-787 long-haul operation.
RBA meanwhile is in the closing phases of a competition between Airbus and Boeing for its new-generation narrowbody requirement, which includes over 10 aircraft for delivery from end of 2015. Airbus and Boeing are offering early delivery slots for their A320neo and 737 MAX families, with support from leasing companies, and the campaign has become very competitive as Boeing is eager to switch RBA’s narrowbody fleet from Airbus. RBA has already ruled out Embraer and Bombardier, after earlier considering large regional jets.
Southeast Asia airline market sees more rapid growth & high international low-cost penetration rates
Southeast Asia continues to post some of the highest growth rates in the global aviation industry, driven primarily by expansion in the region’s booming low-cost sector.
LCCs now account for over 50% of capacity in Southeast Asia’s four largest domestic markets – Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand. Even more impressively, LCCs have been able to rapidly claim about a 50% share in the intra-Southeast Asia international market.
But there has also been growth in 2013 at nearly all of the region’s flag carriers. A large portion of this growth has been on regional routes as full-service operators have been able to join the LCCs in taking advantage of the generally favourable economic conditions in Southeast Asia.