This interior belongs to Royal Brunei Airlines. Photo courtesy of the airline.
I should never doubt my readers. Last week, I posted the photograph above and asked if anyone could name the airline pictured. One reader guessed correctly: It’s Royal Brunei Airlines.
Royal Brunei is flag carrier airline of the Sultanate of Brunei, based in Bandar Seri Begawan. It has 12 airplanes, including two 787s, and flies to more than 12 destinations, including London, Singapore, Melbourne and Dubai, according to its route map. Wikipedia says Royal Brunei does not serve alcohol on board, but that passengers can bring their own. So that’s interesting.
Want more information about Royal Brunei’s route structure? The CAPA Centre for Aviation has compiled an excellent analysis of the airline’ s business model.
United Airlines will open a 787 pilot base in Los Angeles. Photo courtesy of United.
Could United Airlines be planning an Asian expansion from Los Angeles International Airport?
Los Angeles will soon have nonstop service to three new Scandinavian destinations.
Norwegian, a discount European Airline, announced Tuesday it will offer flights in 2014 between LAX and Stockholm, Copenhagen and Oslo using a Boeing 787. LAX currently has no nonstop flights to the three cities, so this is progress for the nation’s third largest airport. Fares start at $236 each way — a relative steal.
United Airlines wants to add service between San Francisco and Chengdu, China on the Boeing 787. Photo courtesy of United Airlines.
The world is getting smaller.
United Airlines took a major step forward toward global connectivity on Thursday, announcing that it wants to begin flights between San Francisco and Chengdu, China starting in June 2014. The route, pending government approval, would be the first nonstop flight on an American carrier from the United States to a secondary mainland Chinese city – that is, not Shanghai or Beijing. It will fly three times per week.
Of course, “secondary” is relative here, as Chengdu has more than 14 million residents in its metro area. But it’s a big deal because it’s the type of route the Boeing 787 was built for. The fuel efficient airplane can fly long distances, but it’s not as big as some of the other aircraft flying between the U.S. and China, like the 777 and 747. United 787s are configured with 219 seats.
The whole idea of the 787 is to open new markets that had not previously been financially viable. So far, with a few exceptions, that hasn’t really happened. But United’s move could portend well for the future.
Los Angeles could benefit from this change, but that’s far from a sure thing. While Los Angeles could get its share of new 787 flights to secondary cities, other airports – like San Francisco and Seattle – will be fighting for them as well. Many cities view international flights as vital for their economic well being. And for all the excitement about the Airbus A380, most aviation analysts believe smaller more efficient aircraft like the 787 and A350 are the real future of aviation.
The CAPA Center for Aviation has an excellent, if a bit wonky, analysis of the U.S.-China market.
After Asiana Flight 214 crash landed in San Francisco last week, casual aviation readers were reminded that long-haul flights usually carry three or for pilots, two of whom are usually in the cockpit at any one time.
The others are resting. But where do they sleep?
It depends on the airline. Sometimes they sit in a first or business class seat. Other times they might even take a row in the coach cabin. But on the longest flights on the biggest planes, airlines have usually installed crew bunks.
I recently took that shot of the pilot rest area on United new 787, which it flies from LAX to Tokyo. Comfy, right?