A dream welcome for Dreamliner flight to KL

National 2 minutes, 2 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

ROYAL Brunei (RB) airlines’ 787 Dreamliner faced technical difficulties on its second commercial flight yesterday.

After landing at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), passengers were asked to disembark for a delayed take-off on the return flight due to minor technical issues.

RB airlines Deputy Chairman Dermot Mannion assured that the national carrier had strong engineering support from Boeing and Air France/KLM to manage any glitches.

Mannion remained upbeat when questioned about the four-hour delay, but did not specify the cause of the technical hitch.

“There will be technical glitches from time to time. We had one today and we dealt with it. We’re sorry we’re a little bit late back in Brunei but we’re still very, very confident with the programme,” he said.

The Dreamliner, fresh from Friday’s maiden voyage to Singapore, carried 113 passengers, including journalists and bloggers.

The Dreamliner, marketed by RB as the `Betterfly’, has had to struggle to improve its image following recent headlines of operational problems faced by other airlines.

It was acknowledged among industry experts, however, that new plane models are generally expected to present issues during operation.

Upon touchdown of flight BI871, the Malaysian airport splashed out a grand welcoming ceremony, spraying the aircraft with water cannons in an airport tradition afforded to the first arrival of any new aircraft model.

Passengers then joined a reception that included a traditional dance performance and a cake-cutting ceremony.

Brunei High Commissioner to Malaysia His Excellency Dato Paduka Hj Ishaaq Hj Abdullah was present at KLIA to join other guests Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad, Managing Director of Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) and Dermot Mannion, Deputy Chairman of RB.

“RB is the first airline to operate the Dreamliner in Southeast Asia and as the airport operator of KLIA, we are proud to welcome this new aircraft to KLIA’s family of fleet,” said Tan Sri Bashir in his speech.

Tan Sri Bashir gave plaudits to RB, speaking of the inspiration taken from the business growth of the airline in an industry that is both challenging and competitive.

“As a business partner, MAHB also benefits from this encouraging growth. RB’s Dreamliner operations would enable it to bring in a larger number of passengers per flight to KLIA, further boosting our passenger movements and at the same time would present a positive development for the tourism industry in both Malaysia and Brunei,” he said.

The Brunei Times