Royal Brunei Airlines back on Brisbane route – Australian Aviation

A file image of Royal Brunei Airlines Airbus A320neo V8-RBD, which features a special Visit Brunei livery. (Masakatsu Ukon/Wikimedia Commons)

Royal Brunei Airlines (RBA) has resumed nonstop flights to Brisbane for the first time since 2011 with the arrival of BI9 early on Thursday morning, July 11 2019.

Flight BI9, operated by Airbus A320neo V8-RBD featuring a special Visit Brunei livery, landed at about 0330 local time on Thursday, following its six and a half hour journey from RBA’s Bandar Seri Begawan hub.

The aircraft was on the ground at Brisbane Airport for about 13 hours before taking off as the reciprocal BI10 a little after 1600 local time.

RBA chief executive Karam Chand said the airline was delighted to be back in Brisbane after an eight-year absence.

Further, Chand said the new Brisbane service would strategically position the airline as a key player on the Kangaroo route between Australia and the united Kingdom.

“We are delighted to offer our Bruneian, UK and other guests from our expanding route network an additional Australia travel destination where they will find many and attractions and activities of offer in Brisbane city and its surrounds,” Chand said in a statement.

In addition to Brisbane, RBA flies nonstop to Melbourne daily with Boeing 787-8s.

Both its Australian routes were expected to support RBA’s nonstop Bandar Seri Begawan-London services.

A file image of a Boeing 787-8 in Royal Brunei Airlines livery. (Wikimedia Commons/Jahurz)

A file image of a Boeing 787-8 in Royal Brunei Airlines livery. (Wikimedia Commons/Jahurz)

The Brisbane route will will operate as an overnight flight from from Bandar Seri Begawan on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Meanwhile, the return service takes off from Brisbane in the late afternoon on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

The schedule, which is similar to RBA’s Melbourne service, has been optimised for convenient connections on the London route.

CAPA – Centre for Aviation chief analyst Brendan Sobie said while the new RBA service represented less than two per cent of total capacity between Brisbane and Asia, it was strategically important as the flights would stimulate demand in the Brisbane-Brunei and Brisbane-Uk markets.

“Brunei is a tiny source market for Queensland and there is also limited outbound demand in the Brisbane-Brunei market. However, these segments will grow (from a very low base) as nonstop services are resumed,” Sobie said in a research note from February.

“Of more significance is the impact the new Brunei service will have in the Brisbane-UK market. The UK is the fourth largest source market for Queensland and London is also a very popular destination for Brisbane area residents.”

“However, making the Brisbane-Bandar Seri Begawan route work will not be easy because Brisbane-London – which Royal Brunei will need to rely on for a large proportion of its Brisbane passengers – is a very competitive and low yielding market.”

Sobie noted return fares of less than US$1,000 were available on many carriers for Brisbane-London itineraries, while RBA had some sub-US$800 fares in the market for travel during the second half of calendar 2019.

“With the offer of such low fares it will be hard for the new Brisbane-Brunei route to deliver sustained profitability – even with incentives from Brisbane Airport and Queensland,” Sobie said.

At the time the Brisbane flight was launched, RBA has targeted a start date of June 11. However, aircraft availability issues due to engine maintenance requirements on its Boeing 787 fleet forced the flight to be pushed back a month.

RBA has seven A320neos powered by CFM LEAP-1A engines. The airline has configured the next-generation narrowbody to carry 150 passengers, with 12 seats in business class and 138 seats in economy.

Airbus lists the A320neo as having a range of 3,400nm in a typical two-class configuration of 165 seats. Bandar Seri Begawan-Melbourne is 2,940nm.

RBA was the first to fly the A320neo to Australia when it used the aircraft temporarily on the Bandar Seri Begawan-Melbourne route in August 2018 while its Boeing 787-8s were unavailable due to engine inspection requirements.

To celebrate the new route, the airline planned to host an event at the Brisbane City Hall on Thursday evening.

The airline recently began flying nonstop between Bandar Seri Begawan and London Heathrow, having previously served the United Kingdom capital with a one-stop routing via Dubai.

Brisbane may also prove a source market for RBA’s new regional services with ATR 72-600s due to kick off in October. The turboprops on lease from Malaysia-based Malindo Air will be used to serve seven destinations on Borneo – six in the Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak and one on the Indonesian part of the island.

RBA Airbus A320neo V8-RBA at Melbourne on August 1 2018. (Brian Wilkes)

RBA Airbus A320neo V8-RBA at Melbourne on August 1 2018. (Brian Wilkes)

Flight Number/Routing
Days of operation
Time of departure
Time of arrival

BI9 Bandar Seri Begawan-Brisbane

Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday



BI10 Brisbane-Bandar Seri Begawan

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday



Embraer showcases newest E195-E2 aircraft in the SAR

Brazilian aerospace firm Embraer has brought its newest Profit Hunter jet – the E195-E2 – to Macau, showcasing the “TechLion” livery that covers the aircraft’s fuselage.

Their newest aircraft is currently on a global demonstration tour, which kicked off in Xiamen on July 8 and will be followed by several stops in China and the Asia Pacific region this month and next.

The E195-E2 is the largest of the three aircraft in the E-Jets E2 family.

The firm described the aircraft as the most efficient single-aisle jet on the market, the ideal aircraft for growing regional business and complementing existing low-cost and mainline fleets.

Speaking to the media yesterday, Guo Qing, vice president of Sales and Marketing for Embraer Commercial Aviation China, said that the aircraft can achieve competitive costs per seat with larger narrow body aircraft but with significantly lower costs per trip, which will enable carriers, especially low-cost carriers, to explore additional secondary markets.

“We are operating in a differentiated segment with a seating capacity of 75 to 150. That’s exactly what Macau needs in order to expand its aircraft network into the second and third tier [Chinese] cities,” said Guo.

“If you look at what is currently operating in the market, it’s above 150-seat capacity. [But] with the right seating capacity of the airplane, we can help Macau link and expand [its] network to smaller cities that are currently not being flown to by either AirMacau or other operators,” the executive added.

In April, the E195-E2 received type certification from three major world regulatory authorities simultaneously – ANAC (the Brazilian Civil Aviation Agency), the FAA (U.S. Federal Aviation Administration) and EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency).

The airplane will enter service with Brazil’s Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras S.A. in the second half of 2019. Spanish airline Binter will also receive its E195-E2 later this year.

According to Guo, the firm is not targeting any specific airlines, yet it stressed that current airline operators in the region have the opportunity to expand their market with the right product to bring passengers to and from the SAR.

The representative refused to disclose the pricing details of the new aircraft.

Currently, eight airlines operate 105 Embraer commercial aircraft in Greater China and Mongolia, which lays a solid foundation for adding the E2s to the market.

Commenting on Embraer’s joint venture with Boeing, Guo remarked, “We are progressing smoothly […] and we trust the authorities.”

Post Air India Express incident in Mangalore, DGCA finds safety lapses at Calicut airport

NEW DELHI: Aviation regulator DGCA Thursday issued show-cause notice to the director of the Calicut international airport after it found that some critical areas were not being maintained as per the safety standards, sources said.

On July 2, an Air India Express flight coming from Dammam had a tail strike while landing at the Calicut international airport.

Under directions from the DGCA, Air India Express earlier this month suspended the pilots involved in this incident.

A source told PTI, “The DGCA observed various lapses in safety standards during its inspection of Calicut airport on July 4 and July 5. Therefore, the show-cause notice has been issued to the airport director K Srinivasa Rao. He will have to respond within 15 days.”

The PTI has reviewed the show cause notice issued to Calicut airport director on Thursday.

The notice said that “cracks are observed at runway 28 TDZ (touchdown zone) and along runway C/L marking at runway 10 TDZ”.

The touchdown zone (TDZ) is the part where the aircraft first contacts the surface while landing.

The touchdown zone is ahead of the threshold area.

The notice said that “excessive rubber deposit” was observed in the area from runway C/L marking to three metres on both the sides of touchdown zone of runway 28.

ALSO READ | DGCA issues show-cause notices to Ahmedabad, Chennai airports

Similar excessive rubber deposits were also found by the DGCA along runway C/L marking of touchdown zone of runway 10, as per the notice.

“Water stagnation of about 1.5-metre length was observed on the area between runway edge and intermediate turn pad on runway 28,” the notice said.

The DGCA also found several cracks in the aircraft stand number 5.

It also observed that a “portion of Apron surface” of about 111 metres as damaged.

An apron is that area of the airport where the aircraft is parked, refuelled and boarded with passengers.

“A steep downward slope of approximately five feet depth is observed immediately after the apron behind of aircraft number 1, which needs to be levelled and graded,” the notice said.

The DGCA also observed a shortage of reserve stock of 6,630 litres of Aqueous Film Forming Foam concentrate(AFFF) and 140 kg of “DCP complementary agent” – both are used to put out fires – at Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) station of the airport.

DGCA on Tuesday had also issued show-cause notices to the directors of the Chennai and Ahmedabad airports for not maintaining the safety standards.

Allie Colleen Celebrating Debut Single Release “Work In Progress”

Garth Brooks, 57, is today a happy man and a proud father!

Earlier, Garth Brooks had announced 2019 Dive Bar Tour.

Garth, the country legend, took to Instagram to share a photo of himself with his wife, Trisha Yearwood, and his youngest daughter, Allie Colleen, on the occassion of the release of Allie’s first single, “Work in Progress.”

Garth had split up with his first wife, Sandy Mahl in 2001. He shares the 22-year-old Allie and his two other daughters — August, 25, and Taylor, 27.

Garth, Allie and Trisha are all smiles in the monochrome pic, as they celebrate the milestone moment in Allie’s life heading towards a burgeoning music career. Brooks shares Colleen and her older sisters August, age 25, and Taylor, 27, with his ex-wife Sandy Mahl. To commemorate the single’s release, Brooks shared a photo online of himself, Colleen and her stepmother, Trisha Yearwood. “What a beautiful voice on your grandmother’s birthday … perfect,” says Brooks in the photo caption.

Up-and-coming singer-songwriter — and daughter of country music star Garth Brooks — Allie Colleen has finally shared her debut single, “Work in Progress.”

In a press release, Allie made the decision to share her new song on July 10 in honor of her grandmother’s birthday.

Colleen has co-written the song with Marcus Hummon, and engineer Greg Brick. Its lyrics accept that there’s always room to grow without conceding long-term goals (“I’m the best I’ve even been, but not the best I’ll ever be”). It describes a life that strives for progress, not perfection. “I go my own way, try to walk a straight line / Still trouble finds me time after time,” Colleen sings in the song’s first verse. “I flirt with disaster, and I court distress / I’m a work in progress.”

Marcus is the hit songwriter credited with Dixie Chicks’ “Cowboy Take Me Away” and Sara Evans’ “Born to Fly,”.

“When I walked in the studio that day with Marcus and Greg, Marcus already had the entire song structure minus the chorus when we all sat down,” Colleen recalls of the songwriting process. “For the first time, I wasn’t worried about how commercial the song was or what everyone else was gonna think about the song…I was just honest.”

Trisha Yearwood, Garth’s fellow country star and Colleen’s stepmother, too had a pleasant emotion to share about Colleen’s new song. “From one work in progress to another, what a beautiful song and your voice sounds amazing! I love you so much, Allie #EveryGirl,” she wrote on Instagram, incorporating the hashtag of her own newest single, “Every Girl in This Town.” Trisha supported Allie on Instagram, posting the same pic as Garth along with a sweet message.

Colleen doesn’t display her steep social connections. Her legendary dad’s name cannot be found on her Facebook biography or on her website. Garth did support her for her new single on social media. “What a beautiful voice on your grandmother’s birthday…perfect. I love you!!” he wrote on Instagram, alongside a picture of himself posing with Colleen and his wife, Trisha Yearwood.

Thus, Allie Colleen, a 23-year-old Belmont University graduate and more famously hitherto known as the youngest daughter of Garth Brooks got introduced to the mainstream with her “Work in Progress”.

If the “Work in Progress” behind the song finds solo success, it’ll come in part through the talents recognized by influential radio personality Bobby Bones and others, not just from her family and their loyal social media followers.

“Allie is a pure singer songwriter,” Hummon says. “Her inspiration moves effortlessly from her heart to her mind and out into the world, through her beautiful voice.”

Veteran back with RSS, BJP wants ‘more loyal’ leader

New Delhi: In a significant restructuring of the partnership between the BJP and its ideological parent, the RSS, the national general secretary (organisation) Ramlal has been moved back to the Sangh as its Akhil Bharatiya Sah Sampark Pramukh.

Mr Ramlal, who was the national general secretary (organisation) of the BJP since 2005, will now be part of RSS and conduct the Sangh’s ambitious outreach programme, sources said. It is understood that Ramlal’s removal comes as the top BJP leadership wants someone in the position who is “more loyal” to the present dispensation. Party sources stated that another thing that went against Ramlal was that “he had a mind of his own”.

The talk of Mr Ramlal being shifted out of the organisation to a newer role in the Sangh was being speculated upon for several months. Given the fact that he had looked after organisation for over a decade, the BJP top brass decided to let him continue for the Lok Sabha elections. “It was felt that change of guard at that time could upset the power equations within the party and this would impact the structure at the state level as well. The change was waiting to happen,” a senior BJP leader said.  

Sources stated that there are three frontrunners for the post — V. Satish, joint general secretary organisation in the party; Shivprakash, the BJP’s national general secretary and an old RSS hand who was credited with being part of the team that successfully conquered the Trinamul bastion in West Bengal; and the third contender is B.L. Santosh, national joint general secretary of the BJP.

Nigerian Ambassador to UAE Decries Lopsided Air Traffic Rights against Nigerian Carriers

Chinedu Eze in Dubai

The Nigerian Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Mr. Mohammed Rimi, has said there is a need for domestic airlines to reciprocate air traffic rights the Federal Government of Nigeria signed with other countries to ensure that Nigeria benefits from such agreements.

Rimi, who made this known during the corporate dinner to celebrate the inaugural flight of Air Peace to Dubai via Sharjah, stated that this is why the federal government is giving full support to the airline operations to UAE.

He urged the airline to be consistent and efficient in order to survive the competition in the ever-busy route, assuring them that if Air Peace is able to maintain its operations in the next six months, it would entrench itself in the market.

“Air Peace is now recognized as a flag carrier based on the BASA (Bilateral Air Service Agreement) and whatever the airline is doing will be linked to Nigeria. So the airline is representing Nigeria, therefore, it should do everything in accordance with diplomatic requirements. The only thing the government can do is to provide diplomatic and political support, as I also call on Nigerians to support this airline,” Rimi said.

Also, stakeholders in the aviation and financial sectors have expressed optimism that Air Peace would survive in the market and break the jinx that Nigerian carriers don’t succeed in international operations.

They noted that Air Peace started its international operations by breaking the record with its load factor, which was over 80 percent filled with a return flight that was also well booked.

Speaking at the ceremony also, the General Manager of Fidelity Bank, Ken Okpara, said he was confident that the airline would sustain the new route because the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Air Peace, Allen Onyema, has proven himself to be a disciplined, passionate and determined entrepreneur, and this is why Fidelity bank is strongly behind the project.

According to Okpara, “For us at Fidelity Bank, we are quite excited because we have seen a very committed, passionate professional and shrewd entrepreneur in the person of Onyema, who is spearheading the Air Peace vision. We have also seen a dream come true. This is a function of the fact that if you believe strongly and you have a vision, with the right structure, you will be able to achieve whatever you are committed to. History is being made today.

“The partnership Air Peace has with Fidelity Bank is an enduring one. It is not just a bank-customer relationship. It has been there from the beginning, and what is clear is that it is associated with the way the bank has been doing things over the years. We ensure the institution puts the right kind of structure in place. Beyond funding is the fact that we have been involved in advisory services, hand-holding and providing guidance.”

He explained further that the aviation sector requires a high capital outlay but sadly, a lot of the airlines have closed shop, adding that Air Peace has kept growing because it has the right structures, funding, and equipment.

“For us as a bank, it is about helping Air Peace to put the right kind of structure that will enable them not only remain sustainable in business but excel. We provide them the right kind of funding and put the right infrastructure in place. So, it is a total relationship which is in the long term,” Okpara added.

On his own, Onyema stressed that if Air Peace must succeed on the Dubai route, the Nigerian Government must support it, as the airline cannot do it alone.

“We can only do our best but the rest lies with the government. The government must stop unfair competition in this sector. The United States Government did it when the Gulf carriers swooped on them. The policy of multiple designations and multiple frequencies for foreign carriers are detrimental to our economy.

“Nigerian airlines will not grow under such a policy. The government must help us grow the sector and not stifle it, but I know President Muhammadu Buhari is a nationalist who is ready to support Nigerian carriers. Aviation is a very tough business, so I plead with Nigerians and the government to support Air Peace. We promise to give Nigerians modern equipment and unparalleled services,” he said.

Country Manager of Air Peace in UAE, Reham Mustafa, expressed happiness that the plans to create jobs for the people have become a reality, pledging the airline’s unwavering and quality services.