Royal Brunei Airlines (RBA) has selected the International Aero Engines V2500 turbofan to power its planned new fleet of Airbus A319s, an initial order for which is due to be finalised shortly.

The carrier is understood to have opted for the 105kN (23,500lb) thrust V2524-A5 engine over the competing CFM International CFM56-5. The RBA board was waiting to complete a powerplant selection before formally announcing its order for an initial two A319s, for delivery in June and July 1999.

A letter of intent has been signed to buy the higher (68,000kg) maximum take-off weight version of the 124-seat jet. The A319s will be used on shorter range regional routes to replace two Fokker 100s, which are being offered for sale.

Attention is now focused on a replacement for its two remaining Boeing 757s, also earmarked for sale. The Brunei carrier is debating whether to order two more A319s or to switch to the larger capacity A320s. A longer term decision must also to be taken on a new widebody aircraft for longer-haul routes.

The 757 used intermittently on RBA's route from Bandar Seri Begawan to Beijing will be replaced in the interim by one of its six Pratt & Whitney PW4056-powered 767-300ERs.

The airline is still trying to attract buyers for its two other General Electric CF6-80C2-equipped 767s.

Source: Flight International