Royal Brunei to pit A320neo against 737 Max

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Royal Brunei Airlines is beginning to consider how it will replace the fleet of five Airbus A320 family aircraft operated on its short-haul network.

The airline has two A319s and three A320s in service, and is examining the re-engined A320neo derivative along with the rival Boeing 737 Max, says Royal Brunei deputy chairman Dermot Mannion. "At some point there will be a competition," he adds. "We'll take them as soon as we can get them."

Mannion says that the planned "ASEAN open skies" deregulation of the Asian region, which is expected from around 2015, will have an impact on Royal Brunei's strategy for its short-haul fleet.

"We think 'RB' is well placed to take advantage of ASEAN open skies," he says.