Royal Brunei drops Dubai detour on Melbourne-London flights

By Chris Chamberlin, May 23 2018

Royal Brunei passengers travelling from Melbourne to London will shave five hours and 15 minutes from their trip when the airline's current two-stop route via Brunei and Dubai becomes a one-stop journey via Brunei only, from October 28 2018.

The Brunei flag-carrier says its Boeing 787s "are presently undergoing modifications by Boeing to enable them to fly from Brunei to London Heathrow direct" without the need for today's refuelling stop at Dubai.

As part of the change, the airline’s flights to both Melbourne and London will be re-timed from October 28, while a dedicated Brunei-Dubai-Brunei service will launch from October 29 for passengers travelling to the UAE.

From late October, flight BI6 from Melbourne to Bandar Seri Begawan (Brunei) will depart at 6:30pm daily, arriving at 10:40pm local time. Passengers continuing to London will connect to flight BI3 at 12:15am, touching down at 6:50am, one calendar day later than when departing Melbourne.

On the return journey from Heathrow, BI4 is wheels-up at 5:05pm daily, landing in Brunei at 2:40pm local time the next day, with the airline’s Melbourne-bound BI5 flight jetting off at 7pm to reach Melbourne at 5am one extra day later.

These flights will continue to be served by Royal Brunei’s Boeing 787-8 aircraft, on which 18 business class seats take pride of place up the front, adopting a 2-2-2 layout…

… with business class passengers offered access to the Marhaba Lounge in Melbourne…

… to Royal Brunei’s new flagship business class lounge while on the ground in Brunei…

… and when departing London, to Gulf Air’s Falcon Gold Lounge in Heathrow Terminal 4, which regular UK travellers may have previously visited when flying Etihad during the period when Etihad's own lounge was being refurbished:

As of October 29, the airline’s services from Brunei to Dubai will run at 12:20am on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays under flight BI7, arriving in Dubai at 5am the same day, with journeys back operating at 6am for a 6pm arrival in Brunei.

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!

sgb

sgb

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

30 Nov 2015

Total posts 745

That is very good news.

reeves35

reeves35

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 527

BWN-LHR is just over 7000nm. 787-8 has an adverttised range of 7300nm. It will be interesting to see if the westbound sector has payload restrictions.

robbo135

robbo135

24 Jun 2015

Total posts 9

BWN-LHR is 6,096nm not 7,000 nm...

mb68

mb68

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 Oct 2012

Total posts 122

Really good news! Ive used this carrier in J in the past and great to see their lounge has been updated also. Great fares also however keep in mind that its a dry service carrier (no alcohol)

lind26

lind26

24 Apr 2014

Total posts 269

Great news, the 2 stops put me off. They are very cheap too, no booze though.

oxy

oxy

03 May 2017

Total posts 18

The new departure time ex MEL doesn't work well for Asian connections. Also means a plane on the ground all day in MEL and LHR. But great to shave off 5 hours 🙂

Have they got more aircraft available recently to facilitate this?

Forever_red

Forever_red

15 Dec 2017

Total posts 7

I believe they are scheduled to receive a fifth 787 shortly.

Traveller14

Traveller14

17 Sep 2015

Total posts 391

I understand BI offers STPC (free hotel overnight plus transfers and probably meals) given that northbound the Asian connections are no longer same day, but this will appeal to very few who want to get to southeast or northeast Asis same day.

When visiting Brunei I found it boring. There was a lack of vibrancy in the streets.

Dredgy

Dredgy

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Apr 2017

Total posts 115

Hopefully they keep their prices low. Flown them many times when I could only afford the cheapest, and they're an excellent airline. Brunei Airport is still a problem though, so you'd still want to leave the airport on the return journey.

Would welcome a return to Brisbane.

Traveller14

Traveller14

17 Sep 2015

Total posts 391

It's small but also extremely boring. Hardly any available food (I wasn't in the lounge.) No atmosphere at all: like being in a GP's waiting room.

I don't like this airline as no alcohol officially available. BYO is possible up to a point, but it's hardly ideal and in some places LAGs restrictions might defeat attempts.

JBL

JBL

01 Jun 2016

Total posts 60

Leaving the airport isn't a huge deal. Visa on Arrival is $5 BND/SGD. The fact they don't accept AUD is annoying though

Dredgy

Dredgy

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Apr 2017

Total posts 115

Yup, nothing about the airport is good. I try to stay a night in Bandar if I have the choice and that usually is still cheaper than other carriers.


If you don’t have BND, customs officers will let you through to exchange currency.

Dry airline isn’t a problem, if you can’t go 8 hours without a drink...

Manganese

Manganese

10 Oct 2017

Total posts 5

Yeah, I find it really annoying when I cannot use SGD or USD in Australia. So backwards! /rolls eyes

JBL

JBL

01 Jun 2016

Total posts 60

Point taken, but BND is not an easy currency to get.your hands on. Lesson for the future I guess

Forever_red

Forever_red

15 Dec 2017

Total posts 7

SGD is parity with BND and can be used interchangeably.

Mightyreds

Mightyreds

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Feb 2015

Total posts 263

@Dredgy, watch this space. Expect them to announce BNE very soon using the soon to arrive A321.

Traveller14

Traveller14

17 Sep 2015

Total posts 391

That was prescient given David Flynn's January 2019 article. Still no same day connections to Asia, and it remains a dry airline. Combined (including no pork) it's an airline I won't be again patronising, having done so twice.

tross888

tross888

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 May 2018

Total posts 6

Great news. The two stops always put me off.

A four hour plus layover at BWN on the way back to Melbourne seems way too long.

Forever_red

Forever_red

15 Dec 2017

Total posts 7

another hour earlier would mean arriving in melbourne at 3 am during winter.

mikes1917

mikes1917

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

05 Jan 2015

Total posts 9

Flying to London with no grog!

No thanks!

Nick Sydney 2

Nick Sydney 2

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 Jul 2015

Total posts 223

Make up for it in the pubs in London...

Manganese

Manganese

10 Oct 2017

Total posts 5

It seems like the aircraft spends upwards of 10 hours on the ground both in MEL and LHR. Seems really bad aircraft utilization.

Traveller14

Traveller14

17 Sep 2015

Total posts 391

It is, but there are other considerations such as connections - mind you, with the new schedule, they're ditching immediate Asian connections from Melbourne,

Crewing may be another consideration, as would passenger demand given that to date BWN has relied so heavily on passengers changing planes. Being small, it isn't a huge destination in its own right.

ssmith3104

ssmith3104

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

03 May 2013

Total posts 19

Probably 10 ground hours in MEL is to provide the minimum 8 hours crew rest time necessary for Royal Brunei to use the same crew to fly back again to BWN rather than stationing a 2nd crew in MEL to take over from them for an immediate return flight.

Traveller14

Traveller14

17 Sep 2015

Total posts 391

In a recent delay when the aircraft arrived in MEL in the afternoon instead of its scheduled morning on blocks time, it departed MEL on time in the early evening back to BWN.

Like you, I assumed the crew stayed for the minimum time in MEL and took back the plane that night but the delay and then on time departure ex MEL suggests that's untrue.

Dale

Dale

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Dec 2011

Total posts 90

I know people who fly RB because it is a 8hr, 8hr, 8hr route.

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