Royal Brunei kicks off Melbourne Boeing 787 Dreamliner flights

By David Flynn, April 3 2014
Royal Brunei kicks off Melbourne Boeing 787 Dreamliner flights

Royal Brunei has commenced Boeing 787 flights from Melbourne to Brunei and onwards to London, with the daily service replacing the previous Boeing 777 on the route.

Offering Australia's second Boeing 787 service all the way to London, the airline can take you from the Victorian capital to the UK megacity in a little under 27 hours – albeit with two stops which break the journey into three legs of around seven hours each.

Cabin crew on these flights are now debuting the airline's new uniforms, with the design's warm colour palette ranging from "coral dust to morning sky to fresh mint, based on crew seniority" the airline notes.

The first leg of the London-bound journey, BI54, leaves Melbourne at 12:15pm, reaching at the Brunei capital of Bandar Seri Begawan at around 5:20pm.

After two hours spent relaxing in Royal Brunei's SkyLounge, you'll be off to Dubai on BI97, where the Dreamliner makes a fuel stop before continuing to London for an early morning arrival.

On the return, BI98 takes wind at 5:50pm from Heathrow, touching down in Dubai at 3:45am the following calendar day. Following a 90-minute stop, you’ll be wheels up at 5:15am, reaching Bandar Seri Begawan at 5:25pm.

With two and half hours to spare in between flights, there’ll be plenty of time for a shower and a bite to eat on the ground in Brunei before boarding the final leg – BI53 pushes back at 8pm, with an arrival in Melbourne at 4:50am the next day – a total of two calendar days after first taking wind at Heathrow.

Royal Brunei's Boeing 787 carries 254 passengers in a conventional two-class layout.

The 18 business class seats are arrayed in a 2-2-2 configuration with a 79 inch seat pitch.

Each seat converts into a fully lie-flat bed of just under two metres (or 6' 5" in the old currency), including a personal Ottoman.

Economy is arranged in a 3-3-3 layout, with each passenger having their own on-demand entertainment system in the seatback:

And if you're still scratching your head as to exactly where Brunei is – it's a tiny sovereign nation nestled on the north coast of the island of Borneo, which in turn is divided between Malaysia and Indonesia.

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David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Jan 2014

Total posts 10

Can't wait for BI to bring those 787s, I've been looking forward to it for some time.

Their cabin service in the 772s are as good as I have encountered to LHR, and with the now added incentive of a new aircraft (and the competitive fares), it's probably the only choice for me going to London. 

As for the 3 x 7 hour legs, I whinge when I get to DXB with BI, but then again, 7 hours into a 14 hour flight  with EK or QR, I whinge as well.

Unique product and I like it. 

12 Oct 2011

Total posts 23

Looks sexy - would love to fly it. If only they were part of an alliance.

Another huge benefit is that they don't serve alcohol - meaning your flight is more likely to be loud-bogan-free!

06 Jul 2012

Total posts 13

In defence of the bogan within and those who don't mind a tipple en route, the crew will provide the ice and mixers for BYO duty free. Bear in mind you cannot refuel in BSB. 

07 Aug 2013

Total posts 5

Yea, gabes, I'd like to bear in mind . .heh!

Does this mean, that BYO would be from Melb to BSB only?

And return Heathrow to BSB only as well.

Stopover at BSB does not allow an already opened bottle of scotch, eg, to be carried on to next  flight ?

Lots of jumbled info on this , including ur post, heh . .

Otherwise flight seems an enjoyment . .

06 Jul 2012

Total posts 13

Uncertain how I was providing jumbled info, but let me clarify from personal experience of one trip 3 years ago -  flying from Melbourne to Brunei, I was able to consume a 200mL bottle of spirits. The crew gave me ice and mixers liberally. There was no outrage or raised eyebrows; I may not have been the only person doing this onboard.

There isn't any alcohol at all to buy in Brunei legally (there are apparently "tea rooms" or cafes where they serve it out of "cola" cans) hence you won't be able to refuel. If I recall correctly, if you were to enter Brunei, you have to make a declaration you have no alcohol with you.

I haven't actually flown all the way to LHR with RBI, I used them to get to HKG. Perhaps your solution is to buy the smaller botles and pace yourself. There may be more recent posts around that may contradict what I've written; but hey, if you lose a $8 bottle of booze... you saved it on airfares already.

10 May 2013

Total posts 5

why only from melb? wheres sydney?!

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

16 May 2011

Total posts 113

It's simple, BI only serves MEL in Australia.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jul 2012

Total posts 39

Sydney is about 700kms north of Melbourne on the east coast of Australia. Look it up on a map and its quite clearly there jskf01. Not able to get out of Sydney on one of the many airlines that fly out of it. Too bad. Suffer like the rest of Australia has too.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 May 2012

Total posts 580

RBA did once fly to a myriad of Oceanic destinations, including SYD, BNE & AKL. However they had to roll these back as part of their restructuring to avoid bankruptcy.

Their MEL route is actually a cheap way to jump across to Asia in business class if you're not restricted to a particular alliance.

From the miles & points perspective, CX's AsiaMiles programme is probably the most useful when deciding where to credit your RBA flights.

30 Aug 2013

Total posts 442

Isn't it a state owned airlined owned by an extremely wealthy government/ruler due to abundant natural resources?

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 783

Don't tell QF - they hate their competition being funded by sovereign governments. Oh, wait...

20 Nov 2012

Total posts 20

Emirates turns a profit, the fact that it is owned by the government is irrelevant (compared to say Qatar, Etihad and even Malaysia).

20 Nov 2012

Total posts 20

They also served PER and DRW (as part of the bilatteral agreement initiall with Australia they had to serve either Darwin or Cairns, with Brisbane)

22 Mar 2014

Total posts 2

Thursday 3rd April is date of  Inauguration  of Royal Brunei's 787 flight to  Melbourne.

Looking forward to flying in it. Love their cheap prices in Y to BKK during June Hoidays too. Great buy for full service airline.  JoyV

30 Aug 2013

Total posts 442

That DXB stop would be a real pain if you are trying to get some decent sleep - 3 x 7 hour flights are not long enough to properly rest considering each flight would involve 2 hours on either end for take-off/landing, announcements and meal services. That would leave only 3 hours per flight for rest.

And I dont think even business travellers would want to land at 4:50am! With a deserted arrivals area and no traffic you'd be in the office before 6am!

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 783

You can get MEL-HKG return in J for under $2400 if you're not in a busting hurry or need to pass out from drinking on a plane. 787 to BWN then A320 to HKG. 

07 Jan 2014

Total posts 41

The DXB stop is a throwback to when BI operated the route using a 763, which couldn't make LHR nonstop.  A bit odd they've kept it with the Dreamliner, but I assume they need some of the DXB traffic to keep the route profitable.


12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1479

Females in uniform looks to me like nurses from intensive care unit

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2209

The blokes look pretty smart, tho.

BA Gold

01 Apr 2012

Total posts 185

I wonder why they can't launch direct London - Brunei flights to make it one stop between MEL and LHR.

It's not like a 787 needs a 'fuel stop' in DXB.

22 Mar 2014

Total posts 2

.Went to preview Dreamliner before its inaugural flight in Melbourne.Loved the fact that Y seats can slide forward by 15 cms and the seat still provides great lumbar support. I f you are by a window you can "dial the darkness" level you prefer too. Large windows.  Two six footer blokes tried out Y seats and found them very comfy. Ample room.

The J flat bed has a little elbow niche in central console which gives more room when sleeping on your side too. Toilet doors are very efficient - not bifold type but fold within cavity so you have more entry room.

Walking around and under this plane makes you realise how huge it is. Reckon a large bus could fit into jet engine cavity. galley area very compact and hold area spacious and all stainless steel or aluminium - some sort of silvery metal.

Cockpit full of computerised panels in " dashboard area and above. Four seats in cockpit.  Colour scheme in cabin restful and lighting effects interesting.

Having flown Dreamliner Doha to FRA last June can attest that you feel less dehydrated and better rested. Maybe that 6000 ft pressurisation does work as they say it does!   JoyV

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