Royal Brunei Airlines, the country’s flagship carrier, was established on 18 November 1974 as an independent corporation wholly owned by the government of Brunei Darussalam.
Growth Through the Decades
Soon after the beginning of the millennium, Royal Brunei Airline's Board and Management unveiled a bold and aggressive strategy to develop the airline's status as a world-class player. The plan was to make the organisation well-structured and dynamic.
At the same time, the airline would invest in a fleet renewal programme that would include both the acquisition of new aircrafts and the upgrading of its current equipment with the latest state-of-the-art technology. The core objective was to raise the levels of comfort and safety, two factors that are paramount to guests.
The delivery of two new Airbus A319 aircrafts in August and September 2003 marked the beginning of Royal Brunei's fleet renewal programme. Two more Airbus A320s were delivered in December 2003 and January 2004. In 2010, Royal Brunei Airlines leased six Boeing 777-200ER aircraft. In October 2013, Royal Brunei Airlines was the first Southeast Asian carrier to take delivery of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft. In September 2018, Royal Brunei Airlines unveiled their newest addition to the fleet - Airbus A320 NEO.
- 3 December: RB launches direct flight to the city of Taipei
- 28 December: RB reconnects with Kuching, Malaysia
- 15 November: RB and Sarawak Tourism Board signs Memorandum of Agreement to collaborate and stimulate the inflow of visitors between Brunei and Kuching and vice versa
- 18 November: RB‘s 44th Anniversary of establishment
- 22 November: RB launches scheduled services to Haikou, China
- 9 October: RB has been honored with a 4-star official airline ratings from APEX
- 28 October: RB launched first nonstop flight to London and Brunei, marking the first time in history the two nations are connected by a direct air link
- 30 October: RB announce Kuching to be one of its latest destination
- 31 October: RB updated its website with new layout
- 22 September: RB celebrates the official launch of A320neo and revealed a special Brunei Tourism livery A320neo aircraft collaborated with Brunei Tourism on Destination Marketing Campaign
- 23 September: RB announced that it will fly direct to Tokyo on a three times weekly starting 15 March 2019
- 15 May: RB celebrates 43rd Anniversary of Flight
- 25 May: RB welcomes the airlines’ 1st Delivery of A320neo registered as V8-RBA from Toulouse, France
- 12 April: TripAdvisor announced that RB was recognized as a winner in the 2018 TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice™ awards for Travellers’ Choice Economy Class – Asia and Travellers’ Choice Regional Airlines- Asia
- 19 April: RB introduces the Royal Brunei Mobile App
- 22 March: International Forest of Friendship (IFF) honored RB’s Female Captain Sharifah Czarena Suriany Syed Hasmim as a 2018 inductee for IFF
- 6 February: RB announced that LEAP-1A engines by CFM International’s will power RB’s A320neos
- 2nd January: Launch of scheduled services to Nanning, China
- RB completed the upgrade of RB Plaza, Bandar Seri Begawan with a refresh design that incorporates traditional heritage element into the building exterior
- RB moved to the newly revamped Simpur Building at RB Campus as its new corporate Head Office
- 6 December: A Refreshed and upgraded Sky lounge was launched and the introduction of the new Business Class Lounge
- 21 December: RB inks codeshare agreement with Myanmar Airways International to provide a better holiday options for both guests
- 18 November: RB‘s 43rd Anniversary of establishment
- 26 November – Launch of scheduled services to Seoul, South Korea
- The nation celebrated His Majesty 50 year’s accession to the throne. RB made a special aircraft livery on its A320 CEO to commemorate this occasion and more than 200 staff was involved in the procession.
- 3 October: Launch of charter services to Hangzhou, China
- 27 September: RB introduces Royal Brunei Holidays site a 24/7 online dynamic planning and bundling of holiday products
- 9 August: RB signs contract to deploy OpenAirlines’ fuel efficiency solution – Sky Breathe
- 16 August: RB signs codeshare agreements with Philippine Airlines
- 15 May: RB celebrates 42nd Anniversary of Flight
- 5 July & 12 July: RB enhanced codeshare agreements with Malaysia Airlines and Turkish Airlines for a better holiday options for RB’s guests
- 8 April: RB introduced Mobile boarding pass for passenger whom successfully did a mobile check-in
- 13 February: RB introduced Fly-Rail-Coach product allowing guests to book UK ground travel and international travel with RB in one seamless booking
- 14 December: Daily codeshare flight to Tokyo via Hong Kong with Hong Kong Airlines was launched
- 15 December: RB Upgrades was introduced to level up our guests travel experience to experience our Business Class hospitality
- 18 November: RB‘s 42nd Anniversary of establishment
- 3 October: RB signs 10-year component support contract with Lufthansa Technik
- 28 October: RB introduces direct charter flights to South Korea
- 10 August: RB was announced top 10 in Skytrax’s Most Loved Airlines
- 26 August: Hong Kong Airlines signed codeshare agreements with RB
- 5 July: RB expands its flight network to the city of Zhengzhou, East-Central China
- 12 July: RB signed codeshare with China Eastern Airlines
- 17 June: Royal Skies introduces Awards Shopper
- 20 June: RB introduces App-iness as a new in-flight option for passengers on its Airbus A320 CEO aircraft
- 15 May: RB celebrates 41st Anniversary of Flight
- 1 April: RB rebranded its fare types and introduced betterfly fares
- 5 April: RB Miri Sarawak Office rebranded office and uniform
- 17 March: Mr Karam Chand was appointed to be the Chief Executive Officer for Royal Brunei Airlines after Mr Dermot Mannion ended his 5 year term in the executive office
- 19 February: RB and Turkish Airlines sign codeshare agreement
- 23 February: Royal Brunei Airlines made headlines internationally with our first female pilot trio in the flight deck flying from Bandar Seri Begawan to Jeddah. The flight was led by Captain Czarena along with SFOs Sariana and Dk Nadiah
- 9 November: RB was declared winner of the Travel Media Innovative Campaign and Content of the Year Award at the inaugural Travel Media Awards held at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, London
- 15 June: RB announced major enhancements to the airline’s online booking experience, being the first airline in Asia Pacific to implement the new version of Amadeus e-Retail platform
- 30 April: RB launched rebranded Customer Service Centre and Elite lounge, as well as heritage inspired uniforms for Customer Service Centre and Airport Ground Services staff in RB Plaza, Bandar Seri Begawan
- 15 May: RB celebrates a significant milestone this month with the 40th anniversary of the airline’s first commercial flight
- 19 May: RB has launched its newly refurbished and rebranded office in Dubai at Centurian Star
- 22 May: RB celebrates the 40th anniversary of the airline’s first commercial flight to Hong Kong
- 8 August: Bruneian born international star, Wu Chun, named as RB’s first International Brand Ambassador
- 05 May: RB signed with Airbus and Pratt and Whitney for seven Airbus A320neo aircraft (together with three options) powered by Pratt & Whitney PW1127G-JM engines. Delivery of the new two class premium layout A320 fleet will begin in 2018.
- 03 April: Launch of RB’s first Dreamliner flight from Melbourne making RB the first airline in the world to offer a seamless Dreamliner long-haul flight from Melbourne to London via Brunei and Dubai.
- 21 February: RB unveiled new heritage inspired uniforms for cabin crew
- 01 December: First Dreamliner flight to Long Haul flight to Dubai and London
- 02 December: First RB flight operated by an all-femalecrew at the flight deck; Captain Sharifah Czarena Suriany Syed Hashim (First RB Female Captain) and SFO Dk Haryati Pg Hj Abd Rais (Brunei’s first female pilot)
- 12 October: Launching of a Betterfly; RB’s B787 Dreamliner. The first airline in Southeast Asia to operate the B787 Dreamliner
- 18 October: First Commercial flight of RB’s 787 – to Singapore
- 19 October: First B787 aircraft to land • in Kuala Lumpur International Airport, KLIA, Malaysia (also RB’s first commercial flight to Kuala Lumpur on the Dreamliner) flying from Bandar Seri Begawan to Jeddah on Brunei National Day
- 23 October: First B787 aircraft to land in Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Manila, Philippines (also RB’s first commercial flight to Manila using the Dreamliner)
- RB launches iPad mini business class service – the first airline in the world to introduce iPad mini as inflight entertainment enhancement. The service is available for Business Class passengers flying on RB’s Bangkok, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai and Singapore routes
- RB launches Double Daily flights to Kuala Lumpur
- RB’s website starts its revamp with a new address: www.flyroyalbrunei.com (previously bruneiair.com)
- 06 November: RB becomes the first National flag carrier in Southeast Asia to appoint a female airline captain; Captain Sharifah Czarena Suriany Syed Hashim
- RB’s Rebranding Journey began with its first phase: reveal of new logo and aircraft livery
- RB officially launched its daily service to Melbourne in commemoration of its 1 year anniversary
- RB officially launched its’ newly enhanced Internet Booking Engine on www.bruneair.com
- RB’s newly-leased 777-200ER took off on its first commercial flight from Bandar Seri Begawan to London via Dubai.
- RB introduced Royal Brunei Holidays, a revamp of its Golden Touch Holidays, offering passengers value-for money packages for their holidays locally and abroad.
- 16th May 2004; RB flies daily to London via Dubai
December 2003 and January 2004:
- Two more Airbus A320s were delivered. RB operates a fleet of six Boeing B767-300s, two Airbus A320s and two Airbus A319s.
August and September 2003:
- RB took delivery of two new Airbus A319 aircraft.
- 14th May – RB flew twice weekly to London Heathrow
- Employed the use of Fokker 50 to service Miri and Labuan, two destinations important to the growth of Brunei’s oil and gas industry.
- 21st November – RB’s inaugural flight to London Gatwick
- RB took delivery of the first of three B767-200ER aircraft.
- RB added a third B737-200QC Combi to its fleet, expanding its network to Kuala Lumpur (12th December 1981) and Jakarta
- Late 80s saw the acquisition of three B757-200 aircraft, with routes to Taipei and Dubai introduced
May 14, 1975:
- The maiden Royal Brunei Airlines flight to Singapore left Bandar Seri Begawan on a Boeing 737-200QC.
- Flight to Kota Kinabalu also began the same day, whilst Hong Kong flew the next day.