Royal Brunei Airlines will launch direct flights from Brisbane to Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital of Brunei, from 11 June 2019. The 4x weekly services will be operated by narrow-body Airbus A320neo aircraft.
Royal Brunei already flies daily from Melbourne to Brunei using Boeing 787 Dreamliners. The airline had previously operated flights to Brisbane as well, but these were suspended back in 2011.
The new flights will depart Brisbane in the evening on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Coming back, flights will leave Brunei bound for Brisbane on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Here is the schedule:
- BI10 Brisbane 17:30 – Bandar Seri Begawan 22:50
- BI9 Bandar Seri Begawan 19:50 – Brisbane 04:45 (+1 day)
The flight time from Brisbane to Brunei is around 7 hours. This is quite a long flight for a narrow-body aircraft, but the modern A320neos do have the range. The airline’s A320s are fitted with 12 Business class recliner seats, and individual in-flight entertainment screens are available at every seat.
Royal Brunei flies a modern fleet of Airbus A320s and Boeing 787s, boasting an average fleet age of just two years. That’s one of the lowest in the industry.
Royal Brunei Airlines is a full-service carrier but does not serve alcohol on board its flights as it is a dry airline. Numerous AFF members have flown Royal Brunei Airlines and were happy with the service.
BI has done MEL-BWN in the A320neo before as a substitute when their B787’s were down. The J seats look pretty decent.
We have used BI a number of MEL-BWN-MNL and MEL-BWN-BKI but it’s good to see them back in BNE. Now they have canned the refuelling stop in DXB and go non stop to LHR it also gives Brisbane pax another option to get to the UK as connection times look pretty good
It is not yet clear which lounge will be available to Royal Brunei Business class passengers in Brisbane, although it will likely be the Plaza Premium Lounge. In Bandar Seri Begawan, Royal Brunei operates its own Sky Lounge.
Royal Brunei connectivity through Bandar Seri Begawan
The new Brisbane-Brunei flights offer conveniently-timed one-stop connections to London, Dubai, Tokyo-Narita, Seoul and Kota Kinabalu. Connections to other destinations across South-East Asia are also possible but require an overnight stay in Brunei. Luckily, Royal Brunei Airlines offers a complimentary hotel room to passengers with a long connection in Bandar Seri Begawan through its STPC program.
Our last visit was when BI had the midday flight to BWN and we had only a couple of hours in the lounge before our MNL connection. The return flight necessitated an over night stay and at the time they were offereing a choice of a couple of hotels. We chose the Centrepoint which was pretty decent and was a close walk to a shopping mall and restaurants. Don’t know if they still do but now but at the time BI also offered free transfers and and a day tour which was excellent.
Recently, Royal Brunei has made various operational changes to better facilitate connections through its Brunei hub. Among other things, it recently re-timed its Melbourne-Brunei flights and dropped the Dubai stopover on its Brunei-London route. The airline is now able to offer fast, one-stop connections from both Melbourne and Brisbane to Dubai and London. Prices are extremely competitive too, with flights from Brisbane to London currently available for as low as $1,017 return.
Royal Skies frequent flyer program
When flying Royal Brunei Airlines, you only have the option to earn miles with Royal Brunei’s frequent flyer program called Royal Skies. The program has two status tiers – Silver and Gold – requiring 25,000 miles or 50,000 miles in a calendar year to earn, respectively. Royal Brunei also has a family pooling program, allowing you to pool flight and status miles for up to 7 family members into a single account.
If you do decide to collect Royal Skies miles, it would cost 50,000 miles plus $330.60, for example, for a round-trip Economy award from Melbourne to Brunei. Melbourne to London return would cost at least 110,000 miles plus $859.50 in charges – which is almost the cost of a regular ticket. But you can also redeem miles for upgrades and lounge access at Bandar Seri Begawan Airport. Up to 3 hours of Sky Lounge access can be purchased for 4,500 Royal Skies miles.
Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Royal Brunei coming to Brisbane