What a beautiful sight from the plane! I really miss Kathmandu. Definitely coming back again 😀
My long overdue entry. My recent trip to Kathmandu from 25th September to 3rd October was definitely an eye opener and perhaps the best highlight of my travels for 2018 so far. Initially, I was slightly skeptical, feeling a bit fearful, being in a country too foreign and a country recovering for the devastating earthquake back in 2015. I even worry to the point of internet connection (the lack of it) and such (Yea, you can tell that I’m quite addicted to the world of internet).
Being a CI holder, meaning a Certificate of Identity “passport” holder, I wasn’t sure if my travel document will be accepted in Nepali waters. I only knew my fate at the Nepal Embassy in Kuala Lumpur where I waited patiently for 3 hours before my travel document reached the Chargé d’Affaires level as the First Secretary couldn’t give me a definite answer. Finally, it was a YES and I was too excited that I would be able to fly to Kathmandu with ease. So ladies and gentlemen, for those with CI “passport”, it will only take one day to process and you collect your passport the following day. For 15 day visa, it’s RM 100, 30 day visa for RM 160 and 90 day visa for RM 400. I applied the 15 day visa.
For those wondering on catching a flight to Kathmandu, there are many airlines that fly to Kathmandu via Singapore/Kuala Lumpur. My preference would be through Kuala Lumpur and I believe that one of those legs, you have might have to sacrifice one night in Kuala Lumpur. The average flight fares are at BND 800ish so it’s something for you to plan in advance to save up for the fares. My preference would be taking Malaysian Airlines because of the comfort as compared to AirAsia. The flight from KL to Kathmandu is roughly 4 hours 30 mins.
A 4 hour 30 mins flight on business class is worth it. I was surprised that the online fare on Malaysia Airlines offered me BND 600 from Kuala Lumpur to Kathmandu return with one sector of business class!!! Now that was an awesome deal. AirAsia then was selling BND 1,000 return. The decision was simple 😉
Kathmandu, ah yes, it was surreal when I landed at Tribhuvan International Airport. The immigration process was quite efficient and you can actually apply visa on arrival but that would mean longer queue and waiting time. The baggage claim area was pretty small and it can get overwhelming. I was waiting for sometime only to realize that my bag was shifted to the floor from the belt. So do be aware of that.
Ohh yeah, do get your SIM card, once you reach the small arrival hall. There are only two telcos and I would recommend Ncell. I took the higher tier one with 8GB for around BND 15 which is 1,200 Nepalese Rupee. I was quite impressed that their network is quite fast at times. I also ended up not using the whole data after a week stay in Nepal. There are times when network can be frustrating but overall, I am still impressed with their 4G network. So choose Ncell if you are in Nepal. The only downside is when you apply for the SIM card, you have to fill in a form and also produce a passport size photo.
The Tribhuvan International Airport is kinda small and we caught the shuttle bus before reaching the immigration
Interesting to see this on the arrival card
Oh yeah, every subscriber have to fill in a form when you sign up for a SIM card. Good thing I brought my photo.
Now Taxis are pretty cheap. They are everywhere once you step out of the small airport. Drivers will be hunting for tourists and for a reasonable price to Thamel (the city area) will be roughly BND 8 (700 Nepalese Rupee). There are no meters on most taxis so you can start bargaining with the drivers. So try to negotiate to 700 NR and if they question you, just say that’s what you paid for on your last visit. The airport to Thamel area wasn’t that far. Even with traffic, it would take tops 40 mins or so. Kinda nearby if you ask me.
Hotels. Well, there are pretty cheap and affordable. I chose a 3 star hotel and a 4 star hotel and both were pretty good. Of course, the latter was better. The first hotel I chose was Aryatara Kathmandu Hotel (3 stars) and it’s only around BND 60 per night. It could have been cheaper depending which dates you are flying in. There are even some hotels with great ratings as low as BND 30 per night. So it’s the choices are up to you. I made all my bookings on booking.com and so far, no complains. As for the second hotel I stayed was the Royal Penguin Boutique Hotel which was more of a pleasant stay.
Let’s talk about Aryatara Hotel. I love the service. The front desk people are quite polite and even the manager on duty. He took time to greet those who dined in for breakfast and I thought that was a nice gesture to have. My room was quite spacious and the bed was not bad. I had a spare twin bed where I dumped my other things for convenience. The hotel has good access to the market area too. Breakfast wise, it wasn’t too bad, it wasn’t too good. Just average because of its limited choices. TV channels are limited. Then again BND 60 is a great deal. Ain’t complaining. You can have airport transfer from the hotel too. There’s a Korean restaurant next to Aryatara. As for laundry, there’s a laundry outlet nearby and they go by the kilo. Quite cheap too.
As for Royal Penguin Boutique Hotel, I am in love with this hotel. For BND 100 per night, I didn’t expect such good service and furthermore, the room was pretty awesome!! I didn’t expect this in Nepal and according to my friend who works at Agoda, this is one of the top hotels in Thamel, Kathmandu. The service is top-notch and they treat guest like god. What I am impressed with the designs of the room. So much thought being invested in RP rooms. It has even stuff animals and fresh plants inside the room. The TV channels are endless. I could just stay in and watch TV all day long. Even Premier League matches are available.
The room service is 24 hours too. The unique thing is the breakfast deal. Since it’s a set breakfast, you can have it anytime of the day and not only limited to breakfast hours. Cool, huh? The only beef I had was the wifi. My Ncell 4G line is much faster than the in-house wifi. Other than that, it’s great. A safe box, a weighing scale and even provided an extension with multiple sockets. Clean and modern looking, I would guarantee you that you will enjoy your stay at Royal Penguin and it’s located at the smackdown area of Thamel city. I shall visit this hotel again on my next trip.
The first few days, I stayed at Aryatara Kathmandu Hotel and I enjoyed their service. Only problem was my room was on the fifth floor and there were no lifts :/
I was in love with Royal Penguin Boutique Hotel for so many reasons. Highly recommended.
The good thing is that you pay in your preferred currency though they don’t accept Brunei notes. I had my Singapore dollars then. US dollars is also widely accepted.
Kathmandu. Now this is one interesting city. Despite the hustle and bustle of Thamel, I felt a sense of calm and it took me a few days to get warmed up. Of course, my travel buddy, Pranika Lama, guided me on tips and such for me to be familiar around the city from walking to grabbing a “tempo” to a taxi. I even had an opportunity to hop on the public bus. Google maps was also my saviour. The only one that I didn’t experience was hoping on a van. Apparently the van ride was much more risky as compared to the rest according to Pranika. The “Tempo” was an interesting ride. It costs roughly 10-20 cents only. It’s like their version of Tuk Tuk but bigger. It’s shared for the public and you can hop on anytime you want and just pay the driver the fee after being dropped off. I was wondering the mechanics of the Tempo but it was pretty simplified. It was able to carry at least 10-12 people, depending on your sizes. When you think it’s full, don’t be surprised if one or two person can still squeeze in. To cue the driver for the next stop, just simply use ur hand to bang on the metal roof. The cheapest means of transport but the only problem was the language barrier if you want to ask the driver for directions. I was fortunate enough to have Pranika guided me on which number Tempo to hop on.
I love Nepalese people too. Not all can speak English by the way but most shops in Thamel have some command of English as this is a tourist zone. There are many occasions I was mistaken for a Nepali. Too make it even obvious, I wore their type of clothings to blend in more. Some of the shop attendants would take pictures with me because of my foreign status with a Nepali vibe *lol*
My first photo at Thamel Street
The Tempo I was talking about. It’s operated on batteries and not petrol.
You can see the skeleton of the Tempo at the driver area. I can even notice the ground from this view.
After my 3rd day in Thamel, my love for Nepal grew and I became more adaptive to the environment. Yea, you may have noticed me sporting a face mask and that was because Thamel can be very dusty as constructions were still ongoing for the restorations of building and temples after the 2015 earthquake. So yea, my advice is to buy a mask, just in case and it is also a good fashion accessory 😉 Walking 3-5 kilometers was my daily routine and Thamel was such a crowded zone with tons of shops, selling handicrafts, boutiques, clothes and even electronics. I did spent a handful on clothes for souvenirs and plenty more on accessories. I ended flying back with a 35 kilo load which was an unusual practice when I travel abroad.
At Durbar Square where buildings are being restored and renovated after the 2015 earthquake
Tons of souvenirs, handicrafts being sold at Durbar Square
Thanks Pranika for being my unofficial tour guide 😀
Halal restaurants were easy to locate and I believe they have roughly 5-6 within Thamel. You can simply google Thamel Halal. I tried Shafqat Halal Food Restaurant, Anatolia Restaurant (Turkish and Indian cuisine) and Third Eye Restaurant, maybe favourite of the lot. Please do try the Nepalese dish – Momo and Dal Bhat. Dal bhat is a traditional meal from the Indian subcontinent, popular in many areas of Nepal, Bangladesh and India. It consists of steamed rice and a cooked lentil soup called dal. I actually enjoyed the dish but it can be very filling for me. Momos, according to Pranika, aren’t as authentic as they added more flavor which loses the authenticity of the taste of a real Momo. Well, if you are keen, you can try out a Momo restaurant in Kuala Belait where the Momos are cooked in a traditional way. Just another advice if you are in Kathmandu, do order water bottles rather than a glass of water. Sometimes, you don’t want to take the risk of not acclimatizing to the boiled water in Kathmandu. So to be safe, order water bottles instead.
One of the halal restaurants I tried at Thamel.
Culture. Interestingly enough, this is a city that has high tolerance on religion. Both Hindu and Buddhism are very common and when you visit the temples and Stupas, most of them will share histories of their gods. It was no surprise that there are tons of arts and sculptures in the Kathmandu valley. If you are into history, there is an abundant of historical sources in Kathmandu. You can visit the museums, temples and so on. Of course, the popular ones which made a name of itself were Durbar Square, Pashupatinath Temple and along the streets of Thamel because Dr. Strage was being filmed there. I only managed to enter Durbar Square and took some shots and of course, Thamel street is also quite accessible and convenient to visit.
Human traffic is quite high especially at the tourist zone with a mixture of foreigns and locals. Even on narrow streets, all types of vehicles can still drive thru the congestion and there were times when they can get stuck for a little while. Some cars would even step on the gas in tighter streets. The usage of horns were quite high and it was pretty common. One of my Nepali friends told me that one of the highest cause of death were accidents. Ironically, I only came across one accident, on the final day of my stay in Nepal. I would have to say that on average, the Nepalese people are quite hardworking in earning a living. There were even little children, carrying huge sacks on their back to deliver items to his/her clients.
At Durbar Square
At Durbar Square
Pranika all smiles
One of the historical chariots being displayed at Durbar Square
It can get pretty colourful at night at the streets of Thamel
Safe. Well, I was well informed by a local person and also Pranika to watch out whenever I roamed around Thamel area. Somehow, I found the area quite safe and it was ok to take precaution measures just in case. I was recommended not to look too touristy and be mindful of pickpockets around Thamel area. The shops closed around 9pm and the night life wasn’t as entertaining at certain joints. I was also told not to wonder around being solo after 10pm or so. I never tried but I noticed uniform personnel stationed outside hotels during evening time. So maybe that’s a reason why I felt safe walking alone if I had to. Just don’t flaunt your richness or make it too obvious 🙂
Dusty. I remembered two years ago when Pranika was wearing her face mask because the air pollution was quite moderate. Most of the areas in Thamel were dusty due to the ongoing constructions and restoring of roads and buildings. I masked myself almost 80% of the time as I could sense the dust. You will see shop attendants planting water to the flooring area outside their shops so the dusts will settle down when people walking or cars driving past. When shops closed after business hours, some would clear off the dust and sand from their products that were displayed outside the shop. Be mentally prepared for these kind of situations.
Stay tune for my second part!!
This is their version of music entertainment
This is the mood after 9pm. Most shops will be closed by then.
Yes, this is my shoes that got pretty dusty during my 7 day visit in Nepal
Mask on 😀
The press conference for the Brunei Travel Fair coming this weekend at International Convention Centre
Sabre Travel Network (Brunei) Sdn Bhd will host the 15th annual Brunei Travel Fair on 6th and 7th October, to provide airlines, national tourism offices, hotels and travel agents with a unique platform to showcase their products and services to travelers. Taking place at Plenary Hall, located in the International Convention Centre, Berakas, the two-day event is open to the public, and aims to provide travelers with the convenience of shopping for a wide selection of travel deals under one roof.
“Sabre Travel Network Brunei is proud to organize the Brunei Travel Fair, an important event for the country, benefitting Bruneians, the expat community, our partners and the travel industry at large,” said Irene Soon, General Manager, Sabre TN Brunei. “We are grateful for the continued support of our partners and travelers, and for their contribution to the 15th annual edition of the Sabre Brunei Travel Fair. Thanks to their participation, we will deliver new and unique content to travelers looking to book their dream vacation. Last year, we welcomed over 13,600 attendees to the Brunei Travel Fair, and we are confident that we will exceed these numbers this year,” she added.
To ensure that travelers experience quality service, Sabre will provide more than 60 terminals to the eleven Sabre-connected travel agencies participating in the fair. “The annual Brunei Travel Fair is an excellent opportunity for Brunei-based travelers to shop for overseas and domestic travel packages, making it an event that simply cannot be missed,” said Abd Halim Haji Abd Rahman, Senior Manager, Sales & Marketing, Sabre TN Brunei.
Participating travel agents include Anthony Tours & Travel Agency, At-Taqwa Travel Tours, Century Travel Centre, Dar El Ehsan Travel, Darussalam Holdings, Freme Travel Services, Grace Travel, J J Tour Service, Pan Bright Travel Service, Southern Cross Travel Agencies and Straits Central Agencies.
National tourism organisations attending the Brunei Travel Fair include Brunei Tourism Board, Korean National Tourist Office, Ministry of Tourism – Republic of Indonesia Sarawak Tourism Board, Taiwan Tourist Bureau and Tourism Authority Thailand. Baiduri Bank Berhad, Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam, Korean Airlines, Standard Chartered Bank and Royal Brunei Airlines (RB) will also be on site with their own booths to support participating travel agents and assist visitors.
Medical and Insurance services will be represented by Bangkok Hospital, Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council and Takaful Brunei Am.
Malaysia Airlines Berhad and Singapore Airlines will also be supporting the travel fair by providing attractive fares to participating travel agents, as well as enticing lucky draw prizes.
At-Taqwa is quite known recently for their Umrah packages and top-notch service. But did you know they also provide interesting places to fly to enjoy your travels? They even have a good lucky draw for their customers. Check out Trips by At-Taqwa Travels & Tour.
Some of the rates offered by At-Taqwa Travels & Tour
You can stand a chance to win BND 25k Umrah travel package or a trip to London. Visit BIBD Booth at the travel fair.
Many privileges await you when you swipe with your Baiduri cards (credit & debit). Click image to learn more.
The benefits you will enjoy when using Baiduri
Even better if you haven’t sign up for a Baiduri Credit Card
As always, Pan Bright Travel Service also have a grander prize such as a car or a Birkin bag. Many reasons to book your flights with Pan Bright.
Check out the rates from Century Travel. Very comprehensive indeed.
Darussalam Holdings is also having their promotion, monthly and grand prizes to be won
Freme Travels also have upped their game with a grand draw of BND 10,000 of cash vouchers to be won
Who would have thought I will get exclusive access INSIDE an F1 paddock and only this VIP pass is possible. I also managed to get the Sauber F1 drivers to sign on them. Priceless tag 😀
The beaut of Alfa Romeo Giulia. With a V6 engine powered with a 2.9 litre, this is a powerful car. Had the honour to be chauffeured in this car 😀
I can’t believe it!!! I’m back in the Singapore for the F1 event. In fact, I went to the inaugural Singapore F1 back in 2008. That’s like 10 years ago. Now I’m so fortunate to be back here in Singapore and thanks to @alfaromeobrunei for sponsoring the trip and it was special indeed. Let me tell you why.
I was given access to enter the paddock of the Sauber team who partners with Alfa Romeo in this season of the F1 Grand Prix. This access is different to that of Paddock Club ticket holders (ranging from BND 1,300 to BND 8,000). Those paddock holders can allow walk outside the paddock line to view all the constructor cars. They will be given a specific time to tour around and take pictures and videos.
Now for my pass, it’s a special pass where I have the privilege to enter inside the paddock of Sauber and witness the operations of the engineers on how they deal with the car and the driver when he pits the car. Each driver have their dedicated engineers and support team and I can see why it’s important to be meticulous when it comes to F1 racing. The car and its conditions have to be in perfect, mint condition every time it’s being pitted so the driver can drive to the best of his ability with a highest optimum specs from the car.
We weren’t allowed to take photos inside the paddock and that is quite understandable. We did have a chance to take videos and photos but only outside the perimeter of the Sauber paddock.
The best part of the Friday tour activity was the 5 minute moments with both drivers of Sauber F1 team – Marcus Ericsson (29) and Charles Leclerc (20) whom will be driving for Ferrari next year. This, for me, was an amazing feeling. To be up close and personal to an F1 driver is not an easy feat alone. So a huge thanks to @alfaromeobrunei for making this dream come true.
I also had the privilege to be driven in the Alfa Romeo Giulia, a 2.9 litre with V6 engine. It was launched in Singapore and that car alone costs a hefty BND 380,000. Gulp!!!! That’s Singapore for you. As for Brunei, Alfa Romeo will be making its comeback pretty soon and I shall keep you posted.
Thank you once again @alfaromeobrunei for making this memorable trip for me. I can’t wait to see a Giulia on a Brunei road. Many of you will be impressed. Trust me.
The meeting point before being sent to the paddock
Inside the Alfa Romeo Giulia
The catalogue. I should have taken one with me.
Blessed!!!! With future Ferrari driver, Charles Leclerc, from Poland
A humble driver, Marcus Ericsson, from Sweden
Outside the paddock of Sauber F1 team
Cleaning out the debris and dirt from the F1 tires
Our hospitality area for the paddock team.
How the steering looks like inside the Sauber car. Buttons galore.
Charles didn’t had a good run in the first practice session. His tire hit at turn 13 of the track.
Thank you once again, @alfaromeobrunei for this opportunity
Cheong Kok Liang and Michelle Charlene Basir conquered Stok Kangri which is 6,153m above sea level
Bruneian mountaineering couple Cheong Kok Liang and Michelle Charlene Basir summits Stok Kangri. Standing at 6,153m above sea level, Stok Kangri is the highest mountain in the Stok Range of the Himalayas. The mountain is situated in the Ladakh region of north-west India.
Their 8 day self-funded expedition began in Leh, a high-desert city in the Himalayas, in India’s northern state of Jammu and Kashmir. The duo summited at 05:41hrs (UTC+5:30) on 21st August 2018.
This is the couple’s 4th and the highest mountain summited together so far. Together, they have previously summited Mt Kilimanjaro (5895m) in 2012, Mt Kinabalu (4095m) in 2015 and Mt Rinjani (3726m) in 2017. You can follow their IG @life.on.the.verge on their adventure.
Group photo with all the media representatives hosted by Porsche Asia-Pacific for the Media Driving Academy at Sepang International Circuit earlier this July
A photo opp with the newly launched Porsche 911 GT2RS
Last year, I had the privilege to attend the Media Driving Academy (MDA) hosted by Porsche Asia-Pacific. They consisted of three courses – Individual, Professional and Elite. As for last year, I entered the Individual course which is the basic course among the lot. It was definitely fun. Why? Because it’s the only time we can break the rules in terms of speeding on the road and it was conducted at the Sepang International Circuit, ideal for racers.
Fast forward to this year (July 2018), I was invited again by Porsche Asia-Pacific where I completed the other two courses – Professional and Elite earlier this month. I met familiar faces especially from the international media representatives in Asia-Pacific.
There were two main highlights for me – the launch of the Porsche GT2RS and the driving experience of the Porsche GT3.
Firstly, the Porsche GT2RS. Wow, wow, wow!!!! A beast among beast, this is a collectors item for Porsche lovers. Car and Driver even labeled it as the chainsaw of the 911 line-up. It has a 700 horse power twin-turbo engine. The previous GT2 model has a hp of 620 so there is definitely a difference. You can tell that the GT2RS is built for speed. The price tag alone is quite high. You’re talking about RM 1.3 million itself in Malaysia. Apparently there’s a Porsche GT2RS on the road in Brunei. Amazing!! Sadly, the GT2RS is only for display for the media and not for a test drive.
Of course, the main highlight of the MDA was test driving the newer editions of the Porsche finest models – 911 GT3 (me likes), 718 Cayman GTS and the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid on the SIC race track.
The favourite among the lot for me is the 911 GT3 – simply awesome and it has a mind of its own. I truly love the handling at high speed as well as the braking. It just gives me more assurance to drive safer especially on the race track.
The instructors were very helpful too and our group (Brunei, Indonesia, Cambodia) was lucky to have William Bamber, brother of Earl Bamber, an accomplished race car driver, who competes for Porsche Motorsport. The hospitality was top notch to begin with and the goodies were awesome too – Adidas racing boots and a racing helmet for completing both Professional and Elite courses.
After all the experiences, I truly understand how magnificent Porsche are in terms of handling, speed and safety. We were given tasks such as the Slolam, the Moose, the Braking and many more. I enjoyed the Slolam one as we did a time lapse for every driver to see who was the fastest.
The second day was much more interesting as we learnt the tracks of the SIC race track from start to finish. I realised how awesome Porsche are on the road. Expensive but you will know where the money is spent on. Unfortunately, in Brunei, it’s not something we can take advantage when we have a monster of a car like Porsche because of the driving laws and also the conditions of our roads in Brunei.
Soon, some selected customers will be having their own session organised by Porsche (Brunei) in early August for the upcoming Porsche Driving Experience at Sepang. I hope they have the same experience as I did and it’s also a great way to showcase what a Porsche can do.
Will I own a Porsche? If the money and timing are right, why not? 😉
Just look at that convoy
My favourite car during MDA experience
Did you realize that the driver side is on the left? Yes, all the Porsche are imported from Europe.
The lead car was always the Porsche GT3
Listening to advices by the instructors at some of the activities
Receiving a pair of Adidas racing boots 😉
These boots are made for racing 😀
Learning how to handle around corners and bends
We had some physical exercises as well. Did you know that racing also involves a good physique such as your hand, neck and body?
Receiving a souvenir from the organiser 😀
Happening today Wednesday until Sunday
Oh yea, do try this experience and you will never know you will get fantastic prizes
I was testing out the Human Claw Machine experience. Interesting indeed!! Oh yeah, I am 73 kilos heavy by the way! Click on image to read more about the Human Claw experience
One of my favourite chocolate is here at CF21
Interested in making your wallpaper with Marvel designs?
There will be some activities and you will stand a chance to fly to Bangkok too
You see it when you see it!! Stand a chance to fly to Jakarta and visit Cuckoo booth to find out more. Every purchaser also has a lucky dip prize, hence everyone is a winner 😀
New brands brought in by Bobby Electrical
Royal Brunei Airlines (RB) held a promotional event in Nanning recently in conjunction with its local partners and RB’s International Brand Ambassador, Wu Chun, to promote the newly launched scheduled services between Nanning and Brunei.
Nanning, the capital of GuangxiZhuang Autonomous Region in South-West China, is the latest scheduled destination added to the growing route network of RB. The national flag carrier of Brunei Darussalam first operated season chartered flights to Nanning back in 2016 and resumed services again as chartered flights between January and March 2018. Only in April this year, it became a scheduled flight twice weekly.
Mr. Karam Chand, RB’s Chief Executive Officer, said, “RB is extremely proud to have launched our twice weekly flights between Nanning and Bandar Seri Begawan. Our Nanning flights have proven to be very popular with our Chinese and Bruneian guests. Going into scheduled services so soon after launching the flights is a testament to the hard work done by RB together with our business partner in China – Hainan Wenhua Air Tourism.”
“We have experienced an average load factor in excess of 80% since the commencement of the services and this is great news for all Bruneians and Nanning tourism stakeholders. RB is pleased with the growth from the new source market and we will continue to monitor this and other regional cities in China with an objective of adding more capacity.”
RB’s International Brand Ambassador, Wu Chun, made a special appearance for his fans to promote RB and Brunei Tourism. He took part in activities with thousands of fans and visitors at the event venue.
Wu Chun said, “I warmly welcome even more visitors from Nanning, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Hong Kong and soon Haikou to my beautiful country – Brunei Darussalam. You will have a unique experience and enjoy our warm Bruneian hospitality together with the many sightseeings, activities and culinary delights which are on offer. With RB’s direct flights and its award winning sales, your holiday will start the moment you step on our aircraft.”
The new A320neo aircraft with members of the local media at Toulouse, France. Image taken from The Scoop.
Her Excellency Datin Paduka Malai Hajah Halimah binti Malai Haji Yussof, Brunei Ambassador to France; Karam Chand, RB Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Eric Schulz, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer inspecting the new A320neo aircraft
It would have been a perfect fit if I had a first hand view of the new A320neo purchased by Royal Brunei Airlines (RB) when it was handed over at Toulouse, France, a few days ago. This is the first of the seven firm aircraft (A320neo) and three option aircraft ordered by RB as part of its fleet renewal program back in 2014. So it’s good to see the plan turn to reality.
Present at the commemorative ceremony in Toulouse was Her Excellency Datin Paduka Malai Hajah Halimah binti Malai Haji Yussof, Brunei Ambassador to France; Karam Chand, RB Chief Executive Officer (CEO); Eric Schulz, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer; Mohammad Nazri Mohammad Yusof, Acting Director of Brunei Department of Civil Aviation; Mr Jason Tonich, Vice President and General Manager of GE Aviation Sales and Mrs Elsie Yamanouye, Director, Customer Program Management of Thales.
“Airbus A320neo aircraft comes equipped with Leap-1A26 CFM engines with some of the best fuel, noise, emission and operating efficiency in its class and will allow Royal Brunei Airlines to achieve significant cost savings and reduce its emissions footprint. We are based in Brunei on the Island of Borneo which has some of the most pristine environment on earth and we are pleased to be playing a part in preserving this,” said Mr Karam Chand, CEO of Royal Brunei Airlines.
“The RB A320neo aircraft is also the world’s first narrow body fitted with Thales Avant (Gen5) in-flight entertainment system and this will provide our guests significantly enhanced experience on board and match those generally available on long haul aircraft. These aircraft will have business, economy plus and economy seats with leather covering, USB power outlets and audio/video on demand at every seat. These features have been added keeping in mind the changing needs of our guests and to provide seamless and consistent service to our many transferring guests from the B787 Dreamliner long haul services to the A320 flights,” said Mr Chand.
“The new aircraft will also play an important role in maintaining and improving our operational reliability. RB’s on time performance is ninety percent, one of the best in the industry, however we believe we need to keep improving this as the vast majority of guests travelling to/from/via Brunei use RB services. The extended range of A320neo’s also provides RB with a lower risk option to pioneer new medium haul markets up to seven hours duration and we will be making new route announcement over the next several months,” added Mr Chand.
RB’s first A320neo aircraft will be in revenue service from 7th June 2018 with Singapore selected as the very first destination which is less than two weeks from now.
“Airbus is pleased that Royal Brunei Airlines is the latest airline to take delivery of the A320neo, the world’s preferred single aisle aircraft. With its exceptionally comfortable cabin, low operating costs and excellent fuel efficiency, the A320neo will complement Royal Brunei’s existing fleet and contribute to the airline’s continued success,” said Eric Schulz, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer.
RB’s current fleet consists of 10 aircraft; four Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner and six A320ceo. Eight new aircraft will join its fleet by December 2018 (a fifth B787 and seven A320neo). RB will have one of the youngest fleet in the world with an average age of 2 years by the end of 2018. The national carrier of Brunei Darussalam today operates out of its hub airport – Bandar Seri Begawan to eighteen destinations across the world.
Can’t wait for the rest of the A320neo aircrafts to be delivered to Brunei. You can read more news of the delivery from The Scoop.
The traditional welcoming gesture for the new A320neo, a two minute water salute as a sign of respect and gratitude at Brunei International Airport
Now you can download RB app to your smartphones.
Royal Brunei Airlines (RB) is delighted to inform all our guests that effective 18 April 2018 our RB Mobile App will be available for download on both Google Playstore and Apple App Store.
The app provides a more user-friendly experience and greater flexibility to book your next flight, mobile check-in with mobile boarding pass, check flight information and schedules and gather all your upcoming trips all at one finger tip.
The RB Mobile app is one the two apps RB have listed on both operating systems for our guests to download. Our RB Impian app, a cloud streaming technology on-board, allows our guests to stream inflight entertainment via wi-fi directly onto their personal mobile devices on our newer A320CEO aircraft. Both initiatives are part of our initiatives to make the guest experience richer and in anticipation of further product developments throughout the year.
Karam Chand, CEO of Royal Brunei airlines said “2018 is a very exciting year for RB with the delivery of our eight new aircraft and introduction of new destinations. RB Mobile app is part of initiatives planned for this year that will provide a seamless travel experience for our guests. Being able to make your booking, check-in for your flight and have easy access to the status of your fights on a smartphone is something every guest wants and we are very pleased to be delivering this via our the Mobile App.”
The application was developed by Amadeus and lead by our Digital Team for a better travel experience to our guests. Download our app on Google PlayStore and Apple App Store now.
Pan Bright Travel Service today held a prize presentation ceremony for the January winner of its “Travel & Win a Hyundai or Birkin promotion” campaign at their office in Bandar Seri Begawan.
Sales & Marketing Manager of Royal Brunei Airlines, Awang Hj. Mohd Shamiruddin Bin Hj Sharbini presented the prize to the representative of the lucky winner Awang Mohammad Azujrin Bin Haji Zahini who won himself a return economy class ticket to any short haul destination sponsored by Royal Brunei Airlines.
This is the fifth monthly prize for Pan Bright’s “Travel & Win a Hyundai or Birkin promotion” campaign, launched on the 26 August 2017 and ends on the 31 March 2018.
For the period beginning September 2017 to February 2018, one monthly ticket will be given out where the lucky customer will stand a chance to win one return ticket to any short haul destination of their choice on Royal Brunei Airlines or a return ticket to Singapore on Singapore Airlines.
The Grand Prize of this promotion will be a Hyundai Accent Car or a Hermès Birkin Bag, sponsored by Pan Bright Travel Service. Other prizes for the Grand Draw will include 2 return air tickets to any long haul destination of their choice sponsored by Royal Brunei Airlines, a return ticket to Brisbane sponsored by Singapore Airlines and return tickets to Kuala Lumpur for two person sponsored by Malaysia Airlines. Selection of winners will be held in April 2018.
For more enquiries regarding the promotion, please contact Pan Bright Travel’s offices at 2240980 for Bandar Seri Begawan, 3341154 for Kuala Belait or 3220078 for Seria or follow our Facebook @panbright or Instagram @panbrighttravel for the latest updates.