After a hiatus of more than a decade, Royal Brunei Airlines is resuming direct flights between Brunei and Taiwan. The first one left for Taipei on Monday, with passengers given a warm traditional welcome at Brunei International Airport.

Huang Ai-ling, a sales executive of Royal Brunei Airlines, said Brunei was a remarkable destination for travelers, Central News Agency reported.

Passengers flew to Taipei on the airline’s latest single-aisle plane, an Airbus A320neo, decorated with special livery.

The airline first launched direct flights from the small Southeast Asian nation to Taiwan in 1986. The service was suspended in 2003 because of the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in Taiwan.

According to a report in the Borneo Bulletin, the new flights will be operated on a codeshare basis with China Airlines, which means that passengers of both carriers will be able to get tickets under the same flight number, making the travel process seamless.

The chief executive of Royal Brunei Airlines, Karam Chand, said Taipei was expected to be a key market for tourism and trade for Brunei. He also mentioned plans of expanding direct flights to mainland China, targeting up to seven cities.