MIAMI — Royal Brunei Airlines announced a firm order for seven Airbus A320neo aircraft on Monday, plus three options. The Bandar Seri Begawan based carrier selected Pratt & Whitney’s PW1100G-JM geared turbofan engines.
The carrier has been undertaking a fleet modernization effort for the better part of the past three years. The neo’s will replace the carrier’s current small fleet of A320 family narrow-body aircraft, the first of which was delivered in 2002. It’s current wide-body fleet of Boeing 777-200s is gradually being replaced by the 787 Dreamliner, the first of which it accepted in October 2013.
Historically, the tiny flag carrier has also operated the Boeing 737, 757, and 767 aircraft, the latter being known for its first class bathroom with gold fixtures.
Presently the airline serves sixteen destinations, not including its home base, ranging from Bali to London, though the majority of its destinations are in eastern Asia and the Middle East. Despite a reputation for good service, the airline has generally lived in the shadow of two regional powerhouses, Malaysia Airlines and Singapore. It has struggled to turn a profit, going through restructuring a handful of times since the turn of the century. It recently completed a rebranding effort, ditching its more dated look for something more sleek and stylish.