Royal Brunei Spreads Its Wings with the RB A320NEO
It was all hands on deck for the launching of Royal Brunei Airlines (RB) A320NEO fleet – Airbus’ best-selling single-aisle A320 aircraft – alongside the launch of the Destination Marketing campaign on 22 September 2018.
Present to officiate the launch was guest of honour Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Ali bin Hj Apong, the Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism. Also present were Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Awg Hj Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah, Minister of Finance II and Chairman of RB Board of Directors; Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awg Abdul Mutalib bin Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Hj Mohammad Yusof, Minister of Communications; Mr Karam Chand, RB Chief Executive Officer (CEO); and Mr Jean Francois Laval, Airbus Executive Vice President (EVP) Asia.
The event was held at Hangar 3 at the Brunei International Airport where attending guests, which included senior government officials, industry partners, RB Gold and Silver Members, and High Commissioners and Ambassadors, mingled over drinks and canapés until the arrival of the guest of honor and fellow esteemed guests. The event kicked off with a welcome speech by Mr Karam Chand, CEO of RB, who spoke on how the introduction of the A320NEO aircraft – the remaining part of their fleet modernisation program – opens up a new phase to pursue further regional growth.
“We will have all the seven Airbus A320NEOs in our fleet by November 2018, making RB the owner of one of the youngest fleet in the world with an average fleet age of two years. This is something we as the national airline of Brunei Darussalam are extremely proud of. The new fleet’s cabin features especially the inflight entertainment have exceeded guest expectations and has been applauded as ‘best in class’ and five-star for Regional Services,” Mr Karam Chand said.
“Our guests on the RB A320NEO are enjoying unmatched levels of in-flight entertainment on the new aircraft, being the world’s first single-aisle aircraft fitted with Thales AVANT (Gen 5) in-flight entertainment system.”
Guests will have plenty to do aboard the RB A320NEO, with a personal in-flight entertainment system that features over 1,000 movies, TV shows and audio entertainment content to enjoy on demand at every seat on all short/medium haul flights.
The CEO of RB also touched base on the most recent developments of the award-winning national airline, which includes non-stop flights to London-Heathrow from 28 October, and the introduction of Nanning, Hangzhou and Taipei to its route network.
“We are also pleased to announce tonight that we will be flying to Tokyo-Narita from 15 March 2019. This is an important capital city to capital city connection that we are extremely proud to provide with thrice weekly services which will be increased with market growth,” Mr Karam Chand announced.
Mr Karam Chand also announced the commencement of twice-weekly flights to Haikou (30 October) and Changsha (18 December). The new routes are subject to slot and government approvals.
Mr Jean-Francois Laval, Airbus EVP Asia, took to the podium to laud the national airline.
“Today marks a milestone in the strong relationship between Airbus and Royal Brunei. With the A320NEO in its fleet Royal Brunei is now operating the world’s most modern, comfortable and fuel-efficient single aisle aircraft. We are proud to see the A320NEO flying in the colours of Royal Brunei and wish the airline every success with its new fleet.”
After the blessing ceremony, guest of honor Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Ali bin Hj Apong along with the RB CEO and esteemed guests, took to the stage to officially launch the RB A320NEO with a burst of fireworks and a kaleidoscope of colourful lights.
Dinner was served while local duo The Ellewan performed stripped down hits for attending guests, and activities commenced once again with a viewing of the Destination Marketing strategy and campaign, that showcases the treasures and beauty of Brunei. As the lead tourism agency to market Brunei internationally in collaboration with its partners, Brunei Tourism and M&C Saatchi, RB will be commencing 100 percent digital marketing in key international markets starting 24 September 2018.
In support of this initiative, a special livery A320NEO aircraft was launched by guest of honour Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Ali bin Hj Apong, that featured designs signifying the very best of Brunei tourism.
Mr Karam Chand then brought the guest of honor along with esteemed guests on a tour inside the cabin of the aircraft, followed by attending guests.
The event also saw Mr Karam Chand presenting tokens of appreciation to the guest of honour Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Ali bin Hj Apong, and to Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Awg Hj Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awg Abdul Mutalib bin Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Hj Mohammad Yusof, and Mr Jean Francois Laval, Airbus Executive Vice President (EVP) Asia.
In 2018, RB received the APEX Official Airline Ratings™ Four-Star Award and as winners of TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Economy Class – Asia and Travellers’ Choice Regional Airlines – Asia. In the recent Skytrax airline rating RB moved up fourteen places to be at number 78 (from 92) in the top 100 airlines in the world.
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