Aircalin is set to resume flights between Melbourne and New Caledonia from the end of this year.
Starting on 8 December, the airline will fly three return services per week from Melbourne to Noumea, operating Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday services on its Airbus A320neo aircraft.
“Flights will be operated on our brand-new Airbus A320neos, which offer state of the art seating and the latest LED HD touch screen TVs with an enhanced interactive system offering more than 90 programmes and a USB socket to charge electronic devices,” said Aircalin in a press release.
“The A320neo aircraft are also more fuel efficient, with fuel consumption and carbon emissions reduced by up to 20 per cent per seat.”
Additionally, passengers to New Caledonia will be able to purchase domestic flights within the archipelago, to destinations including Lifou, Ouvea, and Isle of Pines, operated by Air Caledonie under the same Aircalin booking.
Melbourne Airport CEO Lorie Argus has welcomed Aircalin’s return, which has brought New Caledonia services back to all three major airports on Australia’s eastern seaboard – the airline also flies to Sydney and Brisbane, while Qantas also flies from Sydney and Brisbane to Noumea.
“There is huge demand for flights to tropical holiday destinations and given Noumea’s relative proximity to Melbourne, we expect these services will prove very popular,” she said.
“With its idyllic scenery and unique blend of French and island cultures, New Caledonia has so much to offer, and Melbourne’s growing population means there is plenty of opportunity for growth.”
Aircalin currently operates one A320neo and two A330neos, having been the first airline in Oceania to take delivery of an A330neo in 2019. Its A320neo, F-OTIB, dubbed ‘Tibarama’, joined the fleet in 2020, with a second expected this year.