RB to add more codeshare routes, launches inaugural Tokyo flight

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Image: Ridhwan Kamarulzaman

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

Royal Brunei Airlines (RB) is planning to introduce more routes to several Japanese cities via codeshare agreements with different airlines, further enhancing bilateral relations between Brunei and Japan.

In his speech at the launch of the inaugural flight to Tokyo earlier today, RB’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Karam Chand said the national carrier is keen to play a role in providing the missing link and be the catalyst to create more opportunities between governments, businesses and people.

“We are in advance discussions with AI Nippon airlines to codeshare on this route and enter into other collaborative arrangements. We will make these announcements in due course,” he said.

RB’s Chief Executive Officer Karam Chand (2nd L), Minister of Finance and Economy II and Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office YB Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohd Amin Liew Abdullah (3rd L), Minister of Transport and Infocommunications YB Dato Seri Setia Abdul Mutalib Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Haji Mohammad Yusof (4th L) and Japanese Ambassador to Brunei Motohiko Kato cutting the ribbon to launch the inaugural Tokyo flight. Image: The Bruneian

RB will be adding Osaka, Nagoya, Sapporo and Sendai to future arrangements while still maintaining its codeshare with Hong Kong Airlines.

The codeshare and interline arrangements, he added, are conducive to its guests due to the seamless transfer of baggage and access to lounges.

In December 1994, RB first flew to Osaka and launched the codeshare flights to Tokyo via Hong Kong in 2016 with Hong Kong Airlines as its codeshare partner.

With the commencement of RB’s direct flight to Japan, Tokyo is the first city after more than 20 years both countries were connected seamlessly making it RB’s 24th international destination.

The national carrier will be serving Tokyo Narita three times a week using its new fleet of A320neo aircraft which routes up to seven hours.

Furthermore, Minister of Finance and Economy II and Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohd Amin Liew Abdullah said the Tokyo flight launch will help support the country’s ongoing effort to diversify and build a dynamic economy.

“As a shareholder of RB, Darussalam Assets works collaboratively with the Government and GLCs such as RB, striving to improve industry structures and sector strategies,” he said.

The minister who is also the chairman of RB Board of Directors added that GLCs are economic catalysts in accelerating innovation and generating healthy competition through delivering cost-effective solutions that will benefit the local businesses, consumers and the nation as a whole.

Ibiza, one of Japan’s famous shopping street in Tokyo. Image: Waqiuddin Rajak

The direct air connectivity is significant in developing Brunei’s tourism sector as RB and Brunei Tourism worked closely through various destination marketing campaigns.

On his part, Japanese Ambassador to Brunei Motohiko Kato expressed his gratitude for the new milestone achieved between Brunei and Japan with the Tokyo flight.

“I am pleased that many more Japanese people are visiting Brunei and this is set to increase with the new flights. Major tour operators such as Japan Travel Bureau are including Brunei in their (travel) offerings,” he said.

Kato also hoped that more Japanese businessmen to visit and learn about Brunei’s potential opportunities for investment.

Also in attendance at the launching ceremony was Minister of Transport and Infocommunications Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Abdul Mutalib Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Haji Mohammad Yusof.

File photo of the first of seven A320neo aircrafts delivered to Royal Brunei Airlines in May 2018. Image: The Bruneian

The Bruneian