New Caledonia’s Aircalin is the first to fly the new A330neo in Asia-Pacific

New Caledonia’s flagship carrier Aircalin is now the first airline in the Asia-Pacific to fly the new Airbus A330neo. Operating on flights between Sydney and New Caledonia’s capital of Noumea, the new aircraft is defined by its innovations, said to vastly improve performance and comfort.

A330neo’s centrepiece is new generation Trent 7000 Rolls Royce engines, elevating the entire flight experience with a quieter (6dB less than the previous model) propulsion system, improved fuel economy and a longer range. The recent arrival of the first A330neo is the first step in a complete fleet renewal plan for Aircalin, which will include two A330neo and two A320neo aircraft by 2021.

The substantial boost in Aircalin’s portfolio means passengers flying between Sydney and Noumea can expect a better overall flight experience across all cabins. The airline has made well-being a priority on board the new craft, with state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment and efficient onboard connectivity coupled with the significantly quieter cabins, optimised layout and a calm modular lighting atmosphere.

Capacity on board is capped at 291 seats spread across Economy, a newly introduced Premium Economy, and the airline’s signature Hibiscus Business Class. All three cabins have taken on a new design inspired by New Caledonia’s famously rich biodiversity and contrasting colours.

Passengers flying in Hibiscus Business Class can expect a refined experience, visually distinguished by blue and orange hues reflecting sand and coral. 26 bucket “OPAL” seats are featured in a 1x2x1 layout, offering a fully-flat experience with enough space for easy access and full privacy. The experience is bolstered by a new culinary program and a modern style bar.

Premium Economy Class has been the biggest change on board. Here, the airline’s design tracks New Caledonia’s unique biodiversity, with a cabin shaped to provide maximum comfort, rest and a remarkable sense of space. The 21 “ZIM MAGIC” seats are allocated over just 3 rows in a 2x3x2 layout to keep the cabin as intimate as possible.

Those flying Economy can expect the blues of New Caledonia’s definitive UNESCO World Heritage listed lagoon, paired with traditional Pacific patterns. Comfort has been kept at the forefront with 244 seats in a 2x4x2 layout.

The A330neo flies to Sydney once a week on Fridays and twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays. For bookings and more information head to

Feature image: Kurt Ams.

Chris Singh

Chris Singh is an Editor-At-Large at the AU review, loves writing about travel and hospitality, and is partial to a perfectly textured octopus. You can reach him on Instagram: @chrisdsingh.