A new 787-8 rolled out of the Boeing Everett paint hangar recently that represented two new milestones – the aircraft is the first 787 headed to southeast Asia, and first delivered to Royal Brunei Airlines (RBA). Even better, it’s the first Boeing jet to sport RBA’s new livery.
Royal Brunei, based in the small southeast-Asian Sultanate of Brunei, has been around for quite some time. The airline formed in 1974 with a fleet of two Boeing 737-200s serving the surrounding region (Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia). As the airline expanded over time, so did the size of aircraft that they operated. They now run a regional Airbus A320-family fleet and a long-haul fleet of ex-Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-200ERs. But soon they will be adding the 787 Dreamliner to their fleet.
The new livery debuted on an A320 in November 2012, beginning the re-branding process in time for their new 787s. RBA has four Dreamliners on order; the first is due to enter service in the next few months. According to RBA deputy chairman Dermot Mannion, “over the next year, we will be redefining the RBA flying experience, starting with our classic-styled new livery and logo. This redefinition is not merely an advertisement campaign, but rather a long-term commitment to our passengers to create a family-like, peaceful, and tranquil atmosphere with high class customer service.”
As an Australian plane spotter and traveler, Royal Brunei holds a special place in my heart. Seeing the bright yellow wide-bodies flying into Brisbane each day stoked a yearning to fly off to tropical destinations in Asia, or like so many other Australians, fly to Europe. At the time, Royal Brunei had the cheapest flights to Europe (prior to the fare wars that began once the middle east carriers jumped into the market).
Although the new livery is sleek, clean, and definitely modern, it’s a stark difference from the old bold, brightly-colored livery. Do you like the new one better?