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Brunei: SE Asia’s smallest market, and its national airline, poised for rapid growth in 2018

Brunei is Southeast Asia’s smallest market, consisting of less than 2 million annual passengers, and has experienced the slowest growth rate among the 10 ASEAN countries this decade.

However, Brunei could become one the fastest-growing markets in Southeast Asia and Asia overall in 2018 as Royal Brunei Airlines (RBA) embarks on an ambitious expansion phase. Royal Brunei Airlines plans to take delivery of eight aircraft in 2018 and grow its fleet by 40%, from 10 to 14 aircraft. The fleet’s seat count will also increase by nearly 40%, driving rapid capacity growth with a focus on North Asia.

Brunei’s overall market, which is dominated by Royal Brunei, could grow by 30% once all the aircraft are delivered. Brunei is keen to boost tourism numbers, particularly from North Asia, but transit traffic will also inevitably grow as additional capacity is injected.

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