Airline review: Aircalin Airbus A330neo premium economy, Sydney to Noumea


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New Airbus A330neo aircraft and premium economy cabins. THE ROUTE

Sydney to La Tontouta International Airport, Noumea, New Caledonia. THE AIRCRAFT

Aircalin took delivery of two 291-seat, wide-bodied Airbus A330neo aircraft in August and September this year. The planes boast a new premium economy cabin class with 21 seats. The "neo" stands for New Engine Option. LOYALTY SCHEME

Flying Blue is the loyalty programme of Aircalin, Air France, KLM, Kenya Airways, Tarom and Transavia. SHARE

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Share on Twitter TWEET Pin to Pinterest PIN Link Air Cailin’s new Airbus A330neo aircraft. CLASS Premium economy DURATION Two hours and 19 minutes. FREQUENCY Aircalin flies from Sydney to Noumea six times a week and offers code-share flights with Qantas and Air New Zealand from other Australian cities. The new aircraft will fly from Sydney to Noumea twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays. THE SEAT I am in 11F, an aisle seat, in a 2-3-2 configuration, with a generous seat pitch of 38 inches (96.5 centimetres). The seat tilts back 18.1 degrees, though I don’t need to recline on such a short flight. The seat is comfortable and wide (about 47cm) and the colour scheme in muted and classy shades of blue and grey. ENTERTAINMENT The high definition (33.78cm) touch screen is state-of-the-art, with USB and power ports. There are 45 movies on offer, 16 of which are new releases. The TV menu, however, is a little sparse Still, the journey is only a couple of hours long. On both legs the promised inflight Wi-Fi isn’t available. CHECKING IN There’s a dedicated check-in and priority boarding for premium-economy passengers. Nothing out of the ordinary here. All very pleasant and efficient. BAGGAGE Two pieces of checked luggage up to 23 kilograms and one piece of cabin baggage up to 7kg. COMFORT Excellent all round. The seats are comfortable with lots of leg room and I like the flora motifs on the pillows and the blankets, which come wrapped in biodegradable bags. There’s a bright, happy holiday feel to the cabin, too. SERVICE The staff, all elegantly dressed in livery that matches both the cabin and the water in New Caledonia, are multi-lingual and unfailingly polite without being servile. They even keep a straight face when […]

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