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Royal Brunei Airlines signs $75m engineering deal with Air France-KLM

News Tuesday, 18 June 2013 12:43 Written by 

Royal Brunei Airlines (RBA) has signed a 12-year engineering partnership agreement with Air France-KLM.

 

The $75 million deal means Air France-KLM will support the entry into service of RBA's five B787s.

 

Dermot Mannion, deputy chairman of RBA, said: "It's a long term agreement. The reason we selected Air France/KLM is that they have existing expertise with the 787.

 

"Eventually, the target is to have a tranfer of knowledge and expertise to RBA so we can develop our own engineering capabilities.

 

"This deal is crucial for us as the 787 launch customer in Southeast Asia.

 

"We believe the 787 is the future of long-haul and we're determined to get it right.

 

"Today's agreement will ensure we do that."

 

RBA will take delivery of its first B787 in September this year, the second in October, the third in January 2014, the fourth in February 2014, and the fifth on a later date yet to be determined.

 

Mannion said RBA had been through a "rigorous downsizing and restructure" adding that the carrier was focusing on routes of strategic importance. The B787 will be used on its long-haul routes to Melbourne and to London via Dubai.

 

RBA currently has RFIs out to replace and expand its short-haul fleet. Mannion said this process would reach its conclusion "in the next couple of months".

 

The carrier announced its purchase of the five 787s in 2005 with delivery originally slated for 2009.

 

Mannion said it was possible that RBA would expand its long-haul route network, adding: "Long-haul has become a very, very competitive business for some airlines and we have to tread careful and be very cautious about future long-haul plans."

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