Aircalin's new Airbus A320neo will fly to Sydney, Brisbane, Auckland

The New Caledonian airline's first A320neo will join its two A330neo siblings on regional Pacific routes.

By David Flynn, January 6 2021
Aircalin's new Airbus A320neo will fly to Sydney, Brisbane, Auckland

New Caledonia's Aircalin will send its new Airbus A320neo darting across the Pacific this year, including to Australia and New Zealand.

The nimble jet will first stretch its wings between the Noumea and the neighbouring French territory of  Wallis and Futuna, before appearing on other regional routes to Sydney, Brisbane and Auckland (once COVID-19 travel restrictions are lifted) along with Port Vila and Nadi.

Aircalin's Airbus A320neo.
Aircalin's Airbus A320neo.

Aircalin tells Executive Traveller that the A320neo will supplement the larger twin-aisle A330neo on the Noumea-Sydney corridor – although unlike the A330neo, which sports 26 lie-flat business class seats, the A320neo is all economy class from tip to tail.

Aircalin's Airbus A320neo.
Aircalin's Airbus A320neo.

With a modest 30-inch pitch, each of the 168 economy seat has its own 30cm HD video screen and USB power outlet; inflight WiFi "will be available at a later stage," the airline promises.

On most flights the first rows will be sold as premium economy, with the middle seat left vacant and a curtain separating premium passengers from the hoi polloi.

Aircalin's Airbus A320neo.
Aircalin's Airbus A320neo.

Aircalin's A320neo premium economy package includes "a dedicated and refined food service" plus priority checkin and boarding and a higher baggage allowance.

“This new aircraft is part of our fleet renewal meant to offer our passengers modern and innovative service,” says Aircalin CEO Didier Tappero.

The A320neo will see one of the airline's two ageing A320 jets put out to pasture; the delivery of a second A320neo has been put on hold until 2023.


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.


03 May 2013

Total posts 668

Great airline but the country is an super overpriced tourist trap where the French live great lives and the local indigenous aren't so lucky. Go to Cairns or Sunshine Coast if you want ideal beaches etc..if you want to hear French go to Paris.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 783

It isn't overpriced, most tourists do it wrong. Air bnb, eat and shop like a local - then it's a great-value destination. Can't wait to return.

Etihad - Etihad Guest

21 Jul 2019

Total posts 161

No, John. It is a pricey destination, and in many ways overpriced. Plus, everyone travels differently. What might be "wrong" for you is not necessarily right for another tourist, and vice versa. But I'm genuinely glad you've managed to find good value there.

the cabin photo seems to show slimline seats, so legroom is quite good. The 30 inch seat pitch is therefore very misleading. ie. airlines with same seat pitch, but not slimline seats have far less legroom.

31 Mar 2014

Total posts 377

168 seats also sounds like a row or two less than you would expect from all economy.

Yes exit max limit on A320 is 186 I think

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