Taking off from Brunei International Airport at 10am, RB Dine & Fly flight BI 45 took 85 minutes with a live commentary by RB pilot and crew around the coast and borders of Brunei and other parts of Borneo including Mulu, Kota Kinabalu and Labuan.
During the flight onboard RB’s Airbus A320neo, the pilot directed passengers to several attractions that can be seen during a clear day.
Before returning to Brunei International Airport, the Dine & Fly flight circled around the Sultan Haji Omar Ali Saifuddien Bridge for passengers to catch a glimpse of the locally-famous structure.
Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew Abdullah who is the Chairman of RB and spouse as well as Minister of Foreign Affairs II Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Erywan bin Pehin Datu Pekerma Jaya Haji Mohd Yusof and spouse were among the passengers.
RB in collaboration with Royal Brunei Catering served brunch featuring a ‘uniquely Bruneian’ menu – Nasi Lemak with Ayam Goreng or the 2019 feature during Brunei Tourism Brunei Gastronomy Week – Ayam Masak Kunyit Kedayan with Rice. Dessert was Gula Sago Melaka and fresh fruits.
Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew Abdullah said, “During the COVID-19 pandemic, all businesses have to be creative to attract revenue. For RB, the airplanes are not flying to destinations as usual. This new concept will give the opportunity for the pilot to continue flying and also for the public who miss flying to be on board a plane.
“We are giving passengers the opportunity to see some of the interesting sites in Brunei Darussalam and its surrounding region. It is a short flight. You are having lunch in the air and enjoying sightseeing at the same time.
“Most importantly, the passengers are supporting RB during this extraordinary time. As we know, RB is only flying five per cent of its usual activities. We hope this Dine & Fly concept will create more interest among the public to fly and we may be looking at few other concepts in the future. People can also have special events on the flight.”
From the first flight, the minister hoped to look at the feedback from passengers for RB to evaluate and look at other options to offer.
Following the government’s guidelines to curb the spread of COVID-19, RB has in place stringent standard operating procedures (SOP) to ensure the health and safety of cabin crew and guests. Beside body temperature checks for cabin crew and pilots, all RB aircraft undergo a thorough cleaning and disinfectant process.
Chief Financial Officer of RB Nurbahriah Eliza binti Abdullah reassured the public of the measures deployed by RB. “We have social distancing measures where the middle seats are left empty, while family members can sit together. Our aircraft is also equipped with High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters which work well to eradicate germs. Brunei currently contained the spread of COVID-19 and we are not landing in another country.
“For individuals who want to have special moments or celebrate birthdays, I think this is a memorable experience. You can have many birthdays and anniversaries but you will only have one that has sightseeing Brunei from the air.”
She said there are about 300 people on the waiting list to get on the Dine & Fly flight.
In another development, a local man who is no stranger to prison life was jailed for 64 months last Saturday, for yet another brush with the law.
Senior Magistrate Hajah Azrimah binti Haji Abdul Rahman found Abdul Aziz bin Haji Aji/Haji Ali, 47, with a long list of previous convictions in his record.
His last stint in prison was nine years, and he was released early this year.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Hajah Siti Mu’izzah binti Haji Sabli conducted the prosecution and revealed that the defendant had shoplifted a grinder tool from Kim Supersave in Kampong Tanjung Bunut, in the early evening of August 3.
His act was caught on CCTV.
On August 9, the defendant went to Hyreen Company in Sungai Hanching and shoplifted another grinder tool. This was also caught on CCTV and aided in the police investigations when the theft was reported. - Borneo Bulletin/Asian News Network