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Simon Calder

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Is Royal Brunei a good airline?


We are flying with Royal Brunei from Heathrow to Manila, because the fares were about £500 cheaper than BA and Emirates. Are they a good airline and do they use the B777 or Airbus?

Laurence Wiles, Hornchurch

A  I have flown on national airline of the Sultanate of Brunei (flyroyalbrunei.com) half-a-dozen times, and have found it a pleasant and comfortable way to travel between London, South East Asia and Australia – not least because of the standard economy seat pitch of 33 inches, which is better than BA and Virgin Atlantic.

The former fleet of Boeing 767 jets has been replaced by more modern 777s for long-haul trips, notably the service from London to Brunei’s capital, Bandar Seri Begawan (which stops en route at Dubai). Regional connections, such as yours to Mania, are on narrow-bodied Airbus jets.

You may wish to note that the official policy that “Royal Brunei Airlines operates alcohol-free flights to all destinations”. If you want something stronger than non-alcoholic beer, you can arrange it in advance by buying something duty free; the airline allows passengers discreetly to consume their own alcohol on board, and will even provide glasses and mixers.

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