Transport Airlines

Inside Royal Brunei’s Designs for Its New Dreamliners

Dec 16, 2013 10:40 am

Skift Take

It’s going to be a fun season for airline design fans as each airline rolls out its take on the the Dreamliner’s interior.

— Jason Clampet

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Business class on Royal Brunei’s Dreamliner planes.

Business class on Royal Brunei’s Dreamliner planes.

Business class on Royal Brunei’s Dreamliner planes.

Business class on Royal Brunei’s Dreamliner planes.

Business class on Royal Brunei’s Dreamliner planes.

Larger windows in economy class.

In-flight entertainment in economy class on Royal Brunei’s Dreamliners.

Larger windows in economy class.

Economy seating on Royal Brunei’s Dreamliners.

Interior map of Royal Brunei’s Dreamliner planes.

Royal Brunei, when we reported on their new livery and look a while ago, didn’t inspire us too much, their artists impressions made the aircraft look flat and badly proportioned. Now we like to think they saw our comments and made a few tweaks, but realistically, we know that the aircraft reality and artists impressions can vary significantly. Either way, the design in reality is really quite sophisticated, and we stand corrected, we actually really like the livery design.

What has changed is the darker underbelly on the aircraft (you can see the difference in the artists impressions and the photographs above), providing a much stronger colour balance than yellow and white, now with the black/dark shades of grey. The darker element of the fuselage has helped balance the yellow and white top, adding depth and strength to the whole design. A simple fix, but a successful one.

We have taken a look inside the Royal Brunei Jet too, the new fully flat beds in business class and modern seating in economy, will help lift the airline into the 21st century, offering a competitive and relaxing experience for their long haul travellers. Whilst Royal Brunei was often the cheapest choice for the Kangaroo route between the UK and Australia, it used to less appealing compared to it’s competitors due to the three stops, compared to the usual two. Now, the airline is one of the best options.

There’s no denying that the 787 offers a more comfortable cabin experience, with lower pressure and higher humidity levels. Plus the airline is now pushing the two stops as a welcome way of breaking the journey and making it more enjoyable, offering stop overs in both Dubai and Brunei.

The 787 will be the main fleet of the airline as the orders come in, offering the only aircraft type to fly long haul. Meaning that the experience the whole way through your journey will be the same, no lesser aircraft here on the last bit of your journey, disappointing you as you board.

Business Class

One of only a few airlines to still launch forward facing seats in business (realistically still one of the most favourite configurations for couples travelling together). The new ‘Countour’ seats will offer a seat pitch of 79″ with electronically operated seat transition, translating leg rest and footrest, 4-way manually adjustable headrest and backrest with lumbar massager; the fully flat bed length will be 77” (6′ 5″) in length full flat including the personal Ottoman.

Yes, you heard right, one of our favourite elements: massaging seats.

The seats also offer an estimated 11% more bed surface. The seats will be in a 2 x 2 x 2 configuration, which can prove problematic when travelling at the window seat when trying to step over your partner, so if you are travelling solo, perhaps pick an aisle seat. But the good news is each of the seats offer privacy screens meaning solo travellers don’t feel they have to talk to a stranger for their entire flight.

For those wanting to get immersed in IFE, expect a 15.4 inch touchscreen LCD Monitor with Panasonic eX2 in-flight entertainment system featuring 55 movies and 59 TV programmes along with the rest of the usual IFE offerings, including route maps, games and music. If that isn’t enough, expect full in seat power and USB ports in each seat.

As for the catering, well, yes, it is a dry airline, meaning no alcohol, however, the airline more than makes up for this with fresh juices and excellent fusion cuisine and the airline is enjoying new tablewear including new fine glasswear.

Economy Class

Economy in Royal Brunei has always been a good product, featuring a more than comfortable 33″ seat pitch. Now on the 787 expect super huge windows, super large overhead bins and a cabin environment that has mood lighting, better circulation and a general sense of space all around. Being the Zodiac ‘Weber 5751′ seats you can expect a decent amount of comfort, with a decent recline and obviously and adjustable headrest.

The 3 x 3 x 3 seating makes the seats narrow, but it’s the same experience for all carriers apart from ANA now in a 787. To keep you entertained, each seat is supplied with a 9 inch personal touch screen monitor, along with USB socket and a shared power socket (2 sockets per 3 seats) but with the USB socket, and most people charging their iPhones and Tablets on that, expect no problems sharing the sockets. A nice touch is Royal Brunei offers noise-cancelling headsets for both Economy and Business Class passengers.

What of the cabin? We love the colour tones in the cabin, the variety of coloured seats helps break up the cabin and make it feel more intimate. The muted moss greens and aquas sit along with the white walls, and give a sense of sophistication and tranquility. Green is a colour being used more and more in cabins, as chromotherapy research has shown that green offers a subconscious feeling of serenity and relaxation, and is why it is often used in hospitals and spas. The crisp white headrest covers though give the cabin a sharper edge, and helps modernise the cabin.

In business, the seats appear comfortable and the clean lines help remove unwanted clutter, providing more space per passenger. The muted autumnal tones and greys mean business and add an air of sophistication and luxury to the cabin. In all, this muted interior sits perfectly with the bright and bold exterior. This is one contemporary solution, both on the interior and exterior of the aircraft. We cannot wait to try this ‘BetterFly’ soon!

designairsml3This story originally appeared on TheDesignAir, a Skift content partner.

Additional links from TheDesignAir:

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