Dubai: Royal Brunei Airlines will likely be the first carrier to fly Boeing 787 Dreamliners through Dubai, with the small boutique airline getting delivery next spring of the first of five of the carbon composite aircraft.

"We currently operate a Boeing 777 on the Dubai-London service and we anticipate that we will be the first to serve Dubai with a Dreamliner," Dermot Mannion, RBA's chief executive officer and deputy chairman told Gulf News.

"Our daily service through Dubai to Terminal 4 in Heathrow is probably the best-kept secret regarding value for money for passengers," he said. "We're certainly very competitively priced and are likely the cheapest airline flying between Dubai and London."

Mannion, a former senior Emirates airline senior executive and former chairman of Irish carrier Aer Lingus, was in Dubai at the weekend on a flying visit to seal a deal with Gulf Reps as the airline's public relations and marketing representative in the UAE.

Historic ties

Because of historic ties between the small island of Borneo and the United Kingdom, Royal Brunei services the British capital with a 3am daily departure from Dubai, with passengers touching down in London at 6.40am.

"That's a perfect time to land at Heathrow, it lets you do a day's business in London, then fly back to Dubai at 9pm," Mannion said.

The airline is also introducing a daily flight to Melbourne later this month.

"You can be in the rain forest within 20 minutes of the airport in Brunei," Mannion noted. "Brunei makes for a perfect weekend layover if you're on your way to Melbourne, or just visiting from Dubai.

With 10 planes, the airline is small.

"Yes, but we know our niche and we service it very well," he said. "What makes us outstanding and stand out from the others is the quality of our crew and service personnel."

The airline did fly to Frankfurt but has retracted some long-haul services to concentrate on its core routes.

"London is key for us and that's why we will be introducing the Dreamliner on the route next year," Mannion said.

Although it's a relatively small player, Royal Brunei managed to snag five of the much-anticipated and long-delayed Boeing 787s by buying from a third-party bulk purchaser.

"We're all very excited about the 787 and we think it will be an excellent addition to our fleet," he said. "Given the load factors on the Dubai-London route, the Dreamliner will be an excellent option for us."

Despite the rush by some airlines to increase capacity, add route networks or enter code-share agreements, Royal Brunei is taking the slow and easy approach.

"The carbon tax is one factor why we won't enter Europe again anytime soon." Mannion said. "We know our market, we know our fleet, we know what works and for us. Small is the way forward," Mannion said.