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Royal Brunei Airlines (BI/RBA) is a flag carrier of Brunei Darussalam. It was established on 18 November 1974, supported by British Airways and its subsidiary companies. RBA is headquartered in the RBA Plaza in Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital city. Its hub, Brunei International Airport, is located in Berakas, north of Bandar Seri Begawan.
In the beginning, RBA started off with two aircrafts serving four international routes: Singapore, Hong Kong, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching. The first flight was a journey from Brunei International Airport to Changi International Airport in Singapore. As it grew, the company has 10 aircrafts serving 16 destinations in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Australia.
RBA’s business management is chaired by Yang Mulia Dato Paduka Awang Haji Bahrin Bin who is currently serving as Brunei’s Deputy Minister of Finance. The Board of Directors and other seniors mostly derive from the government and private sectors in Brunei Darussalam.
In terms of development, RBA’s board and management unveiled a strategy to multiply the airline as a world-class player. The plan was upgrading its current equipment with the latest art and technology. The objective was to increase the levels of comfort and safety for both the airline and passengers.
To enhance the levels of comfort and safety, RBA offers IMPIAN Entertainment that allows passengers to enjoy TV programmes, Hollywood movies and music channels on board. IMPIAN Entertainment is provided for passengers flying with Boeing 787s and on certain routes.
For its inflight meals, RBA offers a meal concept called “Dine Upon Request” to Business Class passengers 90 minutes prior to arrival.
At the Sabah Tourism Awards in 2011, RBA was acknowledged as the ‘Best Foreign Airline’ for the category “Award For Best Airlines”. RBA also broke a world record with its Boeing 767 when it flew 17 hours 22 minutes non stop.
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Established on 18 November 1974, Royal Brunei Airlines (RBA) began operating with two Boeing 737-200s. A year after, RBA took off for the first time from Brunei International Airport (BWN) to Singapore, followed by other flights in the same day to Hong Kong, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching.
Late 1970s was RBA’s rapid expansion. In 1976, RBA included services to Manila, the Philippines and Bangkok. Three years after operating several flights across Asia, RBA acquired Boeing 737-200QC as its third Boeing and expanded its route network to Kuala Lumpur in 1981 and Darwin in 1983.
After Brunei’s independence from the UK on 1 January 1984, RBA opened new flights to Jakarta a year later. In the same year, flights to other ASEAN capital cities such as Bangkok, Manila and Singapore were also opened.
RBA began operating flights to Taipei and Dubai in mid 1980s, specifically after purchasing Boeing 757-200s. These aircrafts were also used to link flights to Singapore, Hong Kong, Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur. Later in 1990, for the first time RBA enabled flights to Europe starting from Frankfurt am Main via Bangkok and Dubai. Via Singapore and Dubai, RBA flew to London Gatwick Airport and changed to London Heathrow Airport in 1991. Via Dubai, RBA can also be flown to Perth and Jeddah.
As the company grew bigger, RBA purchased 757-200s for adding more flights across Brunei, the Middle East and Gatwick. At this moment, 737s were also sold and replaced by Boeing 767. This Boeing broke a world record when it flew 17 hours and 22 minutes non-stop from Seattle to Nairobi (en route to Brunei).
In 1993, RBA’s route network expanded even larger. It included services to Abu Dhabi, Bali, Zurich, Beijing and Cairo. Boeing 757, at the time, was also replaced by Aloha Airlines.
RBA’s growth continued in 1994. Two Fokker 50s were delivered to open flights to two cities in East Malaysia: Miri and Labuan. Flights to Brisbane and Osaka were also opened in the same year. In mid 1995, RBA was able to reach Kolkata via Singapore.
RBA appointed a new CEO in 2007, Ray Sayer, however only played the role for 20 months until it was replaced by Robert Yang. On 12 February 2011, Brunei’s number 1 news website Brudirect.com announced that Robert Yang had resigned from his position and for the time being replaced by Deputy Chairman Demot Mannion.
In November 2013, RBA had already owned 4 Airbus A320s and 2 Airbus A319s. The next year, it began operating flights to Bali and Ho Chi Minh for 4 times a week.
Royal Brunei Airlines (RBA) unveiled its new uniform for the cabin crew on 21 February 2014, at an event held at Empire Hotel and Country Club.
Male and female uniforms are designed to reflect the unique culture and tradition of Brunei.
Female uniforms have traditional songket patterns. These songkets are made in 3 different colors: coral dust, morning sky and fresh mint depending on seniority of the crew. Meanwhile, male attendants wears three-piece suits in brown colour plus buttoned-shirts with standing collars.
90 minutes before landing, RBA offers an in-flight meal concept called “Dine Upon Request” specially for Business Class Passengers.
RBA brings together several of the most recommended Asian dishes for both Business and Economy Class passengers.