SINGAPORE: Royal Brunei Airlines (RB), the Sultanate’s national carrier, reached new heights yesterday with its first commercial Boeing 787 Dreamliner flight from Brunei International Airport to Singapore’s Changi International Airport, stated Borneo Bulletin.
The guest of honour, Pehin Orang Kaya Hamzah Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdullah, the Minister of Communications, was on hand to officially launch this historic event.
The arrival of this new generation eco-friendly aircraft, powered by Rolls Royce Trent 1000 engines, into the RB fleet is part of a major investment programme in the airline, which has been spearheaded by the board in recent times, under the chairmanship of Dato Paduka Awang Haji Bahrin bin Abdullah.
Mr Dermot Mannion, the Deputy Chairman of RB, said: “We are delighted to officially launch the B787 Dreamliner in commercial service – a new breed of aircraft, designed and built for efficiency and unparalleled passenger comfort.
“Passengers can now look forward to a great Dreamliner flight experience as it provides the added comfort of a lower cabin altitude and higher humidity, which helps to avoid fatigue and headaches often associated with long-haul flights.
“As a boutique airline, we are always looking for new ways to surprise and delight our passengers and we are confident the Dreamliner will achieve just that.”
RB is the first airline in Southeast Asia to take delivery of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. To mark the launch, RB will be flying the Dreamliner around the region for the first six weeks of operations. Daily long-haul services to London via Dubai will begin on December 1, 2013.
The target is then to extend the Dreamliner service to daily flights to Melbourne from the second quarter of 2014. This will provide RB with an exciting opportunity to provide an unrivalled passenger experience in a quieter passenger cabin, while minimising the environmental impact of air travel.
Dinesh Keskar, the Senior Vice President of Asia-Pacific and India Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said: “We are pleased to have this partnership with Royal Brunei Airline on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and we look forward to more successful working collaborations with RB.
“The choice is a testament to the airline’s commitment to offer the best possible service to its passengers and to operate the most efficient airplane flying today.”
According to Karam Chand, RB’s Chief Commercial and Planning Officer, the goal right now is to let RB’s customers experience the product.
Some of the important factors of RB’s rebranding include ensuring that people are empowered, have the skills and know-how to deal with various issues that arise from the customer service business.
A local traveller, Naqiyah Ishaaq, expressing her delight with RB’s new Dreamliner, said there were plenty of features available for everyone on board -Congratulations RB, it’s a great experience,” she said.
Commenting on RB’s maiden flight to Singapore with the B787, a passenger from Australia said: “It’s very comfortable, nice and modern. It was also very welcoming, I have flown with RB before but this is my first experience in an aircraft such as this. It’s very enjoyable.”
The composite construction and advanced aerodynamics of the 787 Dreamliner ensures a smoother ride by reducing turbulence and noise for a calmer cabin experience. RB’s 787 Dreamliner has the capability to seat a total of 254 passengers -18 on Business class and 236 on Economy class.
The Business class features the ‘Contour’ seats with a seat pitch of 79 inches, which reclines to a lie-flat bed (77 inches in length including Ottoman) and a 15.4-inch touchscreen LCD monitor with Panasonic eX2 in-flight entertainment system.
The Economy class features the Weber 5751 seats with an average seat pitch of 32 inches with semi-articulating recline and adjustable headrest. It is also integrated with Eco nine-inch personal touch screen in-flight entertainment monitors.
The latest technology includes USB ports available at every seat (both in Business and Economy class), as well as noise-cancelling headsets. The Dreamliner is also equipped with lavatories catered to special needs passengers.
Operating across four continents and flying to 15 major cities including London, Hong Kong, Melbourne and Manila, RB has consistently focussed on providing award-winning service throughout its 38-year history.