Long term HfP readers will, I’m sure, remember this three paragraph story from July 2018 where we reported on Royal Brunei dropping its flight between London Heathrow and Dubai.
Royal Brunei had operated this route from 2004 under ‘fifth freedom’ rules. The aircraft stopped in Dubai before carrying on to Brunei and you could book each leg separately.
In 2018 the airline swapped to a direct Heathrow to Brunei flight, offering the first ever non-stop service between the two countries.
This clearly didn’t work as well as was hoped, because Royal Brunei is bringing back its Heathrow to Dubai service.
From 1st November, there will be an overnight service to Dubai (departs Heathrow 5pm, lands 4.15am) and an equally painful early morning flight back (leaves Dubai at 3am, lands at Heathrow at 7.20am).
The flight will operate three days per week on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday.
This is clearly not going to become a hugely popular option. Royal Brunei is not part of any major airline alliance so there are no ‘earn and burn’ opportunities for frequent flyer miles. The flight times are not ideal. I believe that Royal Brunei is a ‘dry’ airline, so no alcohol will be available, but you can bring your own! The business class seating on the Boeing 787-8 is not world class, with a 2-2-2 formation and no private solo seats.
The real benefit here is competition, assuming that the airline chooses to act as a price setter and not a price taker.