What do you hope to achieve in your new role as UK Country Manager for Royal Brunei?
Since RB started flying from the UK in 1990, the service, aircraft and overall product offering has progressed in leaps and bounds. We now fly to a wide range of exciting destinations in South East Asia, the Middle East, and Australasia, and we have a fleet of new planes, including our flagship Boeing 787 Dreamliners and the soon-to-arrive A320neos.
Arriving at this exciting time, I hope to continue to build on this success, to establish RB’s SME offering and to grow UK awareness of RB’s fantastic product and the destinations it flies to. Most recently, we have begun working with Ras Al Khaimah Tourism, to promote the neighbouring Emirate to Dubai, as an undiscovered luxury destination for those looking for some winter sun at affordable prices.
Do you have any surprises planned before the end of the year to celebrate the airline’s 25th year of flying from the UK?
As part of our 25th anniversary celebrations, we will be opening a newly refurbished London office, in line with our recently revised branding and hope to also host a celebratory event for trade media. We will also celebrating at this year’s World Travel Market in November with a surprise for visitors to our stand, shared with Ras Al Khaimah Tourism.
How is Royal Brunei’s UK service performing this year and what is driving demand?
Our key routes focus on demand destinations, including Dubai, Melbourne and Bali. We are also seeing year on year numbers growing for passengers flying with us to Kota Kinabalu.
How has the introduction of the Dreamliner on your Heathrow services impacted sales?
Whilst I cannot comment on specific sales figures, I can say that the introduction of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner on all our long-haul routes, including all flights out of London Heathrow, has been a huge draw for passengers flying to and from the UK. We are the only airline that guarantees a Dreamliner on all long-haul flights, and the quieter, more spacious and more relaxing on-board experience, has proved very popular with those flying with us.
What are the airline’s other key selling points that make it stand out from the competition on its UK routes?
In addition to being the only airline guaranteeing a Dreamliner on all long-haul flights, RB is also the only airline operating a Dreamliner service direct to Dubai. We are proud to be a boutique airline offering a truly personal service, delighting our passengers with authentic Bruneian grace, characterised by the graciousness and optimism of our flight crew.
RB offers great value flights to four continents and 15 cities, including Melbourne, Kota Kinabalu, Dubai, Manila and Bali.
What does RB hope to achieve with the rebrand in terms of trade and consumer perception?
This rebrand is not merely an ad campaign, but rather a long-term commitment to our passengers to create a family-like, peaceful and tranquil atmosphere with high-class customer service. Having refreshed our livery, uniforms and now our website, we feel this brings RB into the modern age, whilst retaining the traditional Bruneian values for which we are best known.
How important is the trade to RB and what are your plans in terms of UK trade incentives and initiatives going forward?
Our relationship with UK trade is very important and we work closely with our agents. We recognise this as key distribution channel and will continue to host fam trips to help offer experience of our new Dreamliner and the destinations we fly to. RB will also be participating at agent roadshows in major UK cities together with Ras Al Khaimah Tourism later on this year.
Tell us more about the SME offering and its benefits.
We have seen a real demand for an SME-tailored product on our Heathrow-Dubai flights. Our daily overnight flights to Dubai and our affordable prices make RB a favourite choice for SMEs looking to travel on a budget, whilst still getting the most out of their short trip by not losing any working hours during the day. We plan on launching a tailored product in the next few months to specifically to this market.