Royal Brunei Airlines (BI, Bandar Seri Begawan) is planning to replace its two A319-100s with a pair of A320-200 (sl)s during September and October of this year as it kicks off its fleet renewal programme. The aircraft - V8-RBW (cn 6771) and V8-RBX (cn 6816) - are on lease from Irish-based lessor Ansett Worldwide Aviation Services (AWAS).

CAPA said in a report that as part of its 2015-2021 Five Year Plan, the South East Asian carrier will, by end of 2018, replace four existing A320s with the first of seven A320neo variants on order from Airbus (AIB, Toulouse Blagnac). A further three A320neo options may be exercised in which case they will only arrive after April 2021 if firmed.

The A321neo and its Long Range variant are also being studied as they would allow Royal Brunei to add narrow-body capacity on short-haul routes that are currently slot constrained such as Hong Kong Int'l, Manila Ninoy Aquino Int'l, and Shanghai Pudong. The upgraded A320's improved efficiency and range will also allow Royal Brunei to open up new routes to north Asia and India, while resuming those in Australia suspended in 2011 owing to unfavourable widebody fleet economics.

Currently, Royal Brunei uses its A320 Family fleet to serve Bangkok Suvarnabhumi, Denpasar, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong Int'l, Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur Int'l, Manila Ninoy Aquino Int'l, Shanghai Pudong, Singapore Changi, and Surabaya.