Royal Brunei Airlines Changes

The Travel Daily News Asia-Pacific on 22nd August 2012 posted this news article about Royal Brunei Airlines:

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Quiet Changes at Royal Brunei Airlines
written by Luc Citrinot

It was more than a symbol: the reactivation of Royal Brunei Airlines (RBA) Online Check-In service since the middle of July 2012 shows the commitment of the carrier to be more passengers-focused with a pro-axtive use of modern technologies. Since that date, online check-in services are available from all Royal Brunei Airlines' destinations excluding Dubai, Jeddah and Surabaya. The service is open from 24 hours up to 60 minutes before the scheduled departure time of each flight, excluding London and Melbourne where the online check-in service is open from 24 hours up to 180 minutes before the scheduled flight. Online check-in is directly available on RBA website. Dermot Mannion, Deputy Chairman of Royal Brunei Airlines stated, "We are pleased to re-introduce online check-in services to our passengers in Brunei. The service will allow passengers, including those travelling with checked baggage, to check-in online and create a smoother travel experience.”

The reactivation of the check in online was necessary to give RBA tools to sustain the offensive of competitors, especially from AirAsia. RBA is now embarked in Year Two of its Stabilisation Plan. Launched during the summer of 2011, the plan must bring back RBA into profitability. It translated last year about the cutting of unprofitable routes to Auckland, Brisbane, Ho Chi Minh City, Kuching and Perth and a reduction of 25% of total staff. RBA wants to now concentrate on routes generating the most profits such as Dubai and Jeddah in the Middle-East, Northeast Asia as well as major Southeast Asian cities. In the long-haul market, RBA flies only today to London and Melbourne. Code shares have been signed with Malaysian Airlines, Dragonair, Garuda and Thai Airways to connect with other long-haul destinations around the world. Five brand-new Boeing B787 Dreamliner are due to arrive into the fleet by 2014, which will help to offer more frequencies and more comfort to passengers. There is also a project of modernizing facilities at Bandar Sri Begawan International Airport to welcome 3.5 million passengers a year compared to 1.5 million currently.

The carrier tries also to rebrand itself as a “niche airline in a niche destination”. More promotion for Brunei itself is now part of the airline strategy which wants to emphasize not only the last Malay Kingdom in the world but also what can be considered as the best preserved rainforest of Borneo island. For the first time, RBA is working side by side with Brunei Tourism for promotion abroad. Recently a campaign was launched in London with famous black cabs carrying advertising for Brunei and RBA.

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