Royal Brunei Airlines is focusing on "strategically important" long-haul routes and building short-haul frequencies after restructuring and downsizing as it targets higher yield traffic.
"It's all about creating traffic opportunities that provide a better value proposition to Brunei - both the airline and the country," says the airline's deputy chairman Dermot Mannion.
"We've cut capacity and closed long-haul routes to Perth, Brisbane and Auckland, and we are now concentrating on strategically important long-haul destinations for Brunei, which are London (via Dubai) and Melbourne," he adds.
The airline established that over 90% of traffic on these now-defunct routes was transiting through Brunei and therefore of little economic benefit. The plan is to capture more of the higher value point-to-point traffic.
"Our main focus now is to develop our regional opportunities," says Mannion. "We serve nine destinations now around 'ASEAN' [the region of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations] and we're looking to progressively build frequencies where we can."
Mannion says that adjustments to the timing of its daily London-Brunei service from the summer 2013 timetable will boost the route's appeal for connections and provide similar improvements for the through-flight destination, Melbourne. Royal Brunei currently has no codeshares at either city but will explore opportunities, he adds. There are no plans to join a global alliance however.
The airline expects its 2012 traffic numbers will be flat, at around 1.2 million passengers, despite the capacity reductions it has introduced thanks to increased load factors. "In effect we're replacing volume on the long-haul routes we've closed with much better quality revenue on regional services. This results in improved yield and a better economic benefit for Brunei," says Mannion.