Aircalin brings new Airbus A330neo business class to Sydney

By David Flynn, March 29 2019
Aircalin brings new Airbus A330neo business class to Sydney

Aircalin will begin flying its new Airbus A330neo jets between Sydney and Noumea from September 2019, and there's a new business class seat to sweeten the admittedly short (three hour) journey.

The New Caledonian airline's A330neo Hibiscus business class adopts a modern 1-2-1 layout with 26 cocoon-like seats that transform into a fully flat bed.

The seats – based on the Opal platform of Stelia Aerospace, and a sibling of Stelia's Symphony design for the new business class for Singapore Airlines and Turkish Airlines – are a substantial upgrade from the 2-2-2 pods of Aircalin's current Airbus A330 business class, shown below.

Aircalin says its A330neo business class colour scheme "calls to mind the New Caledonian seashore with Pacific patterns, wood, coral, and sand colours."

Creature comforts include a retractable divider between the paired middle seats, ample storage space (including a personal items locker which the airline describes as a “treasure box"), a 15.6” high-definition touch screen and free WiFi.

The A330neo also marks the debut of Aircalin's new premium economy class, with 21 seats ranked in three rows of 2-3-2 in their own private cabin.

Each Aircalin A330neo premium economy seat is 17.7in (45cm) wide, with 37.8in (96cm) pitch and an 18° recline, a 13.5" HD screen and their own AC and USB power sockets. Premium economy passengers will also be offered one free hour of inflight WiFi.

The Airbus A330neo will take over the Sydney-Noumea route on Tuesdays and Fridays with a tentative start date of September 3.

The A330neo is an updated version of the popular A330 series, offering greater efficiency for airlines but also improved customer for passengers, including the AirSpace cabin concept featuring larger overhead luggage bins, LED lighting schemes and a "welcome area" by the doors.


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

14 Jun 2017

Total posts 34

17.7in isn’t very wide considering most economy seats are 17-18.5in...

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Jan 2015

Total posts 594

i think the padded area is 17.7 wide but once you include armrest then it should increase to 20

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Aug 2014

Total posts 147

Exactly - that can't be using a standard measurement.

Delta's "Premium Select" (8ab in an A350) is 18.5in between the armrests (with four inch consoles, two inch terminal armrests, and 18" width). Surely Aircalin has seats wider than that...

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

16 Jan 2018

Total posts 115

Looks like their seat is narrow but the soace between seats is larger than normal. Or at least seems like it is because of the space between seat backs. I’m more annoyed that there’s no leg rest on any seat myself.

11 Jan 2017

Total posts 11

With this new aircraft to operate on Tuesday and Friday plus their excellent premium services on board, no one will fly on Qantas b737 (international route- domestic-like services) on other days except those with strict travel dates.

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