The airline with the best average rating is Air Caledonie with 5.7/10.
The average flight time is 0 hours and 25 minutes.More information
Hello and welcome on board this new flight report, today i will introduce you one of the inter-island flight available in New Caledonia, on board of the local airline Air Calédonie.
All the routing has been reported on the website french counterpart, after the long inbound journey from France to New Caledonia (near Australia). Small geographic lesson in order to clearly understand the next flight reports…
So as you can see on the map New Caledonia is composed from a big island (roughly 400km long), 3 small island on the east called "Loyauté" and a famous small island on the south called "Isle of Pines". By the air it's a really short hop from Nouméa and it will be my shortest commercial flight with only 66 nm !
To reach into the island from Nouméa, there is a single boat called "Betico II" link the main island to "Isle of Pines" 3/4 times a week in 3 hours and the air link with Air Calédonie 3 return flight/day from the small airport located in Nouméa city center called "Magenta". Both solutions are really expensive for tourist around 100€ for the boat and close to 150€ for the Air Calédonie ticket, monopoly has a price for passengers…
That's give's us the following routing:
This line as already been reported on the other way few years ago. Few changes happened, mainly the aircraft type now Air Calédonie has a brand new fleet composed of 4x ATR72-600.
We will take the morning flight on this Tuesday morning, It's also school holiday's in New Caledonia and the airport car-park is crowded one of the main advantage of this airport is the free parking but it's also a problem during high season… we should find another place to let the car and walk more than 10 minute to reach the airport doors.
Not a big airport, but approximately 450.000 passengers used the facility in 2018.
Inside it's look more like a railway station than an airport
Some decorations items are inspired by the kanack traditions like these wood sculpture that you can find on top of traditional kanack house it's a real symbol of New Caledonia.
Three check-in counter are opened, you can use it for every Air Caledonie flights, process is really simple and efficient and in just 5 minute our luggage is ready for boarding.
Not many things to do ground side of the airport, many shops and services are still closed… In the middle of the picture, FIDS show's only local flight to the North of main island (Koumac) or Loyauté Island (Maré, Ouvéa et Lifou).
Security control are performed carefully, but agents where friendly, There is just 1 Xray system so the queue for the control can be long… it wasn't our case. Particularity liquid other 100ml are authorized inside hand luggage. He're is the gates, a small waiting room cover the three gates.
There is no shops, the single vending machines is out of service, fortunately our aircraft is already on the apron ready to be refueled.
Boarding his called on time, no respect for priorities the boarding staff has to interfere to let a family with a child board first. Travel documents, has you can see it's free seating on board all Air Calédonie flights.
To get into the aircraft we need to use our feet to cross the 100 meters between gate and our plane of the day, perfect to take pictures of our ATR, today is F-OZIP a two years old ATR 72-600.
Every airplane of Air Calédonie as a different traditional drawing on the front section of the fuselage, today it's the famous sailboat of Isle of Pines.
We are turning around the aircraft, nice view on the T tail with the Caledonian symbole of the wood sculpture on top of house.
Boarding by the rear stair, with a nice fuselage shoot
We climb onboard and we've got a smiling welcome from our F/A at the rear door, she ask us to go at the front of the aircraft. The aircraft cabin is the "Armonia" designed and sold by ATR, you can find this cabin on most of -600 ATR.
You can also find the traditional drawing on the cabin panels
The seat is comfortable and pitch is quit good (there is only 68 seats). If you look over your head the panel is modern with electronic devise use signs.
Nice view from my seat at raw 2.
Thanks to my girlfriend you've got a small view of the cockpit, modern isn't it ?
Boarding is quickly completed, and announcement are performed by the captain and the purser, safety procedures are demonstrate by the young F/A at the front of the cabin in French and English. Then engine are started
Like in London City, aircraft are parked nose out in order to avoid the use of a push, taxi time is really short to reach the runway 35 threshold.
Half turn at the end of the runway and our two Pratt & Whitney PW127-M are set to take off thrust. We are quickly taking speed on the short runway of Magenta airfield… The early climb is a bit impressive close to the beach and some buildings.
The climb continues on the bay of Magenta and its beautiful villas. After a few minutes of flight a small turn to take a south-eastern course.
We are staying below the cloud cover the time to turn around Mont d'Or peak, the small island are known as "Bailly" and "N'de"
But we are still climbing to be between the clouds
That let's me time to show you the content of the seat pocket in front of me,
You can find the mandatory safety card
And also the inflight magazine called "Origin'Air", inside some small articles about the island but also the network map (as you can see only inter-Caledonian flights) and some company information's like the fleet presentation.
I was pleasantly surprised by the low cabin noise of these new ATR fare better than oldest models.
To get an idea of today's route…
10 minutes after take off descent is announced by the crew, we can already see the wonderful blue of coral reefs below our wings.
During our approach we've got a nice view on islets located in front of crabs bay entry.
Followed by the island itself, now you can easily why this island is called isle of pines there is simply a lot of pines trees.
We are on final for the runway 10 of Moué airfield
Landing is smooth but braking is strong, the runway is just 1250m long, as you can see wind is quit strong but on the axis.
U-turn on the middle of the runway, there is no taxiway at ILP…
Quick taxi on the other opposite side of the runway in order to reach the terminal.
Here it is !
We are exiting the runway to get into the terminal appron.
Once again parking nose out in front of the wind. ready to get back to Magenta. Engines are quickly shut down.
Front cargo door is opened and ground staff starts to off load all the cargo and luggage's.
It's also time to leave the cabin for passengers, we've got warm farewell from our crew.
As usual for this type of aircraft we are using the rear door to get out the cabin.
Once again, the tail livery is wonderful, french flag and New Caledonian flag are together near the aircraft registration.
Like for the boarding, it's necessary to turn around our aircraft and reach the terminal located few meters away.
The building has a particular architecture with a local design, facilities are small but it's enough for the 3 flights/day. Many tourist takes pictures on the tarmac and in front of the location indication panel.
On this airport most of ground operations are performed at hand force, there is no tug or something like that to help the ground crew.
For check in luggage delivery, there is no luggage belt, all the luggage are delivered on these wood racks by the ground staff. We getting our stuff 10 minutes after landing.
Inside the airport, just after the luggage claim area you can find an open air area hosting departures and arrivals, there is also a small shop and some hotel counter (there is just 3 or 4 hotel on the island).
We're leaving the airport by the arrival side, really nice with all these flowers.
All the biggest hotel have a shuttle service, bringing passenger from and to the hotel. There is no rental car facility, it's possible to rent one but you should ask at your hotel, caution price are very expensive and offer is limited.
For the first 2 nights we will stay at Kuto, 15 minutes drive are necessary.
Next report will be the return flight to Magenta.
Top of the Island peak N'Ga near Kuto bay.
View from the island harbor, you can see the small peak N'Ga
Kuto's magic with the nice white sand beaches…
Not so bad for this small local airline, of course it's hard to give marks for a short flight like this one with that ticket price is also really high for the distance covered.. but you don't have any other choices...
Comfort: The new ATR72-600 are the right aircraft for this type of short hops, the "Armonia" cabin is also a nice comfort addition.
Entertainment: A small inflight magazine, but the main entertainment is at the window.
Crews : Friendly and smiley, professional really good
Catering: Nothing, ok the flight is short but for this ticket price is really high so I was expecting a free bottle of water or something like that...