During my trip to Borneo I really wanted to see Brunei as well. The best option I could find was to take the early morning flight from Kota Kinabalu and continue after a nine hour layover to Singapore. Time for a Royal Brunei Airlines Review.
I had just done a few of those layover trips (I found plenty of Things to do during 23 hours in Athens) and in Madrid (Here are my things to do for 12 hours in Madrid). I wanted to avoid flying Air Asia/ Malaysia Airlines or Singapore Airlines again. So Royal Brunei it was. The airline has its hub at Brunei International Airport. The fleet consists of new 787 and a number of aging A320.
The airline tends to do well in Skytrax reviews for its kind service. Keep in mind that according to the rules of the sultanate no alcohol is served on board.
I had two segments – Kota Kinabalu to Badar Seri Begawan and on to Singapore. Both were operated by a A320.
Royal Brunei has codeshare agreement with a number of airlines:
Thai Airways International
Myanmar Airways International
Royal Brunei is not part of any major airline alliance. It has recently expanded with flights to Australia with their new 787.
The A320 that was used for both flights were not the newest – both had seen at least 15 years of operation. However I had the impression it was very well maintained and it was very clean. The pilots introduced themselves (they were British/ Australian) on both flights, with lots of information about the route and destination.
For the flight to Singapore we raced the developing thunderstorms with lost of turning and twisting but with seemingly busy pilots watching the weather radar.
For some reason I had ordered a vegetarian meal when making the reservation which was really good for an Economy meal.
Both flights were exactly on time – that seems to be very normal given the great maintenance of the planes and the Brunei hub that is everything but congested.
It’s hard to find a hair in the soup with Royal Brunei. I’d compare it with an Etihad Economy Class (REVIEW). Just don’t expect any alcohol and older (but well maintained) planes.
Don’t hesitate to fly Royal Brunei!