Review of Air Caledonie flight Ile Des Pins Airport Nouméa in Economy

Airline Air Caledonie
Flight TY414
Class Economy
Seat 2A
Aircraft ATR 72-600
Flight time 19:30
Take-off 16 Aug 19, 16:30
Arrival at 16 Aug 19, 17:00
TY 14 reviews
scorph
By GOLD 446
Published on 29th April 2020

Second Caledonian "domestic" flight, with the return flight from Pines island, after 3 wonderful days on this incredible island.


introduction


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…


photo p0a

That's give's us the following routing: 


Routing


Second report of this routing regarding Air Calédonie, the island hopping airline, this line as been report once by "LTQLGW" in 2015, but is now operated by brand new ATR -600 series. Luckily the weather will be better on this return trip.


Back at moué airport


After 3 incredible days on this wonderful Pines island, it's time to go back on the big island. In order to get back to the airfield we use the hotel shuttle who's letting us in front of the nicely flowered airport 50 minutes before departure.


photo p1

It's an open air terminal, just at the entry you can find the selling and check-in counters, once again no luggage belt on departure side all our stuff where put directly on the luggage cart.


photo p2-22551

Inside the main building, links the arrival and departure rooms. It's a small waiting area with a single shop purposing food & beverage but also gifts shops. On the arrival side you can find a tourist information point and some hotels counter but all were actually closed. 


photo p3-95736photo p4-73573

On the walls, there is panels with old aviation pictures related to early air transport activity on the island from the 60's to 80's. A real time machine where you can find some De Havilland "Dragon Rapide", De Havilland "Heron" or the first Twin Otter flight operated by Air Calédonie. Other entertainment source, more modern, the wifi with an easy access and good broadband.


photo p5

Not many things to see on the taxiway, there is only this flashy yellow Robinson R44 helicopter sitting at the end of the tarmac. 


photo p6photo p7

But it was unnecessary to wait to long to see our aircraft arrival, sorry for the bad framing on the second picture…


photo p8photo p9

Quickly came back in front of us, in order to get parked near the terminal building.


photo p10

Tonight it's F-OZLI, a modern ATR 72-600 delivered new at the Caledonian airline on December 2016


photo p11photo p12photo p13

Just after the landing, boarding is called with a high priority respect for family with children's. I don't speak about safety controls because at this time you don't have any ! Unfortunately this bush way of flying is now over as describe on this panel saying that soon a safety control will take place…
 


photo p14

To get access to the gate you are still controlled by a boarding agent checking your passport and ticket.


photo p16

Inside the small waiting area inside the boarding room, a bit like Easyjet way of boarding, but you have some seats.


photo p15-84637

and you've got a nice view on the ramp


photo p17

Detail on the livery, the traditional drawing who change at every Air Calédonie aircraft, here is the Lifou Kanack houses.


photo p18

All the passengers from the inbound flight are now on the luggage delivery area. It's boarding time for us ! What a pleasure to board by feet with this sunny weather ! During this time the ground staff puts all our stuff inside the ATR cargo area. 


photo p19photo p20

Tail face A/B … always two flag displayed, French one but also the Kanack flag.


photo p21photo p22

On board The ATR-600 of Aircal


As usual for this type of plane the boarding took place by the left hand rear stairs. The main door on the ATR. Two female cabin crew welcomes us on board with a large smile. Both were really professional and focused on safety during the flight.


photo p23

Two types of rotor vertical or horizontal ?


photo p24

On board the aircraft, you can find "Armonia" cabin sold ATR as the standard product. It's classy and modern with these gray/black colors perhaps not really original but I like it.


photo p25photo p26photo p27

At the front of the cabin you can find the nice painted bulkhead (with the same traditional drawing as outside).


photo p28

Once again thanks to my girlfriend we are in rank 2, it's free seating on all Air Calédonie flights. Pitch is good for this 15 minutes flight.


photo p29

Front emergency exit


photo p30

The overhead panel is brand new too with indication related to electronic devises use.


photo p31

For this flight I let my girlfriend at the window seat, thanks to all our family members & friends who lets us the window seat at every flight ^^. So she will take the pictures for me !


photo p35

Boarding announcements and safety consigns are introduced in French & English. A small speech from our captain will inform us that the flight time will be 15 minutes. Then the two turboprop engines were started.


photo p36

We are backtracking the runway for a departure on runway 10, heading south-east. You can see all the Moué airport facility on this picture.


photo p37photo p38

180° turn and engines are set to take off thrust 


photo p40

Climbing up the pin trees. With a nice prop noise in the cabin.


photo p41photo p42

You can see the Oro bay perhaps the famous place on Caledonia (some pictures available on the bonus ;-)  )


photo p43photo p44

Right turn, as we are still climbing to reach our low cruise altitude.


photo p45

We are flying over the South-East coast of Isle of Pines, some small island are on sight like Kotomo's next to Upi bay.


photo p46

Few miles away it's Brosse islet, under our wings the main "city" of Isle of Pines called "Vao", fun fact it's the farest French town from Paris (close to 17000 km ^^)


photo p47

Another two islet named Aventure & Duroc.


photo p48

Then you can see the harbor at Kuto, where we spend our two first days. You can find pictures of the wonderful beaches of Kuto and Kanuméra on the previous flight report bonus.



It's now a real scenic flight as we are leaving the coast of the island closest to paradise (as told by the writer Katsura Morimura). As a farewell the sight of Ana islet stranded on the coral reef opening the entry to Grand Lagon Sud who's registred at UNESCO world heritage. 


photo p53photo p54

Many islets are available if you want to play as Robinson Crusoé


photo p55

We have reach our cruise altitude, P&W 127M engines are now quieter.


photo p56

Quick look on the seat pocket in front of me, you can find two documents, first and mandatory one the satety card.


photo p32photo p33

The second one is the airline magazine "Origin'air", it's small but you can find small interesting article and useful information like this network map and the fleet description.


photo p34photo p104

Always the same and incredible sea color at every islet.


photo p57

I don't know why but I really enjoy the view on the spinning propeller, definitely more graphic than jet engines.


photo p58

Today's route extracted from flightradar24.com


photo p105

What a pleasure to fly over the coast, reefs and lagoon of New Caledonia. It's just breathtaking. 


photo p59photo p60photo p61

I thinks I can stay hours looking this landscape unfortunately our descent to Nouméa has already started as we are crossing Charron island at south of Mont Dore.


photo p62

Just a moment later and Sainte Marie and Magenta are on sight ass we are heading North to reach the approach path to runway 17.


photo p63photo p64

"Normandie" district, here you can see most of the Noumea city.


photo p65

High angle bank to the left, to catch the runway axis, as a pilot you need to be careful mountains are pretty high on the surrounding. Here is "7 Km" district.


photo p66photo p67photo p68

The big mountain on the right of the picture is the famous Mont Dore.


photo p69photo p70

On the "6 Km" district house get an impressive view on the incoming traffic ready to land at Magenta airport.


photo p71

The final approach is located a small valley surrounded by hills, and aircraft progressively gliding along it.


photo p72photo p73

This football field is at the border of Tina mangrove.


photo p74

At Tina you can also see the famous Tjibaou cultural center and his particular architecture.


photo p75

Smooth landing, kudos at the pilots we've get close to 20 knots of crosswind when we land !


photo p76photo p77

Back to magenta


Left side of the airfield you can see hangars we're dedicated to general aviation and small airlines providing taxi/air ambulance service.


photo p78

Escaping the runway by the last taxiway.


photo p79photo p80

Passenger terminal is just few meters away.


photo p81

Another Air Calédonie ATR is seated on the tarmac, coming from Ouvéa island.


photo p82

Another 180° turn to be parked ready for departure,


photo p83photo p84

Quickly crew's switch off the engines, as you can see at the rear there is some high relief on the surrounding.


photo p85

Passengers didn't take too long to get off the airplane, even for us located in front.


photo p86photo p87

Fuselage shoot from the main rear door


photo p88

Did I tell you that I like the design of the tail livery ?


photo p89

On the parking next to us, you can find this Bell 214 of McDermott Aviation an Australian company specialized on Heli-lift and firefighting.


photo p90

To reach the terminal facility we need to walk few meters, near the tower.


photo p91photo p94

We can have a last look on our aircraft of the day. Byebye Lima india !


photo p92photo p93

And the next one that we will take to Mare as you can see on the next report.


photo p99

Back to European standard on luggage claim area with an automatic luggage belt. Delivery happened 5 minutes after our arrival on the claiming area.


photo p95-91608

You just need to cover 10 meter on the groundside to be out the terminal facility. That's quick !


photo p96

A lot of people are here waiting for passenger. Some are loading stuff in there car barely in front of the terminal door. what a mess ! But the infrastructure a bit small for the traffic.


photo p97-25516photo p98

The free carpark is full as usual… so people starts to park there car everywhere like sidewalk…


photo p100-55060

Our car is parked a bit further we need to walk around 10 minutes, but we have a nice view on the airfield and the mountains surrounding it.


photo p101photo p102

Once again I hope you enjoy this report, on the bonus you can find pictures of the wonderful Isle of Pines:


Bonus : Click here display
See more

Verdict

Air Caledonie

6.9/10
Cabin8.0
Cabin crew8.0
Entertainment/wifi9.0
Meal/catering2.5

Ile Des Pins Airport - ILP

7.6/10
Efficiency9.0
Access7.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness7.5

Nouméa - GEA

6.8/10
Efficiency7.0
Access7.0
Services6.0
Cleanliness7.0

Conclusion

Return flight, always the same Air Calédonie product... Modern aircraft, on time & reliable we've been lucky to have a really nice weather to enjoy the breathtaking view during the flight over the lagoon. But the ticket price is still breathtaking too ^^.

Air Calédonie:
Confort: These new ATR's are really good on this small island hopping, the cabin is really comfortable for the 15 minutes flight.
Equipage: Female cabin crews with the smile on their face, focus on passenger safety, good !
Entertainment : In flight magazine, but the main entertainment is at the window with this incredible scenery flight over the lagoon.
Catering: Like the inbound flight, nothing is served or sell on board. I know the flight is short but perhaps a bottle of water could be given. When you see the ticket price ...

Information on the route Ile Des Pins Airport (ILP) Nouméa (GEA)

5 Comments

  • Comment 552808 by
    LostLuggage 56 Comments

    Great report, and from such a cool part of the world. Visiting somewhere like NC is privilege enough, but to enjoy views like those from a plane window is truly all you can ask for! Took me back to island-hopping the Canaries on Binter's ATRs - although they always managed to serve something in <15 minutes (and for quite a bit less than $150 one-way...) As you say, it's the price of monopoly. No rear-facing seats in row 1 I noticed? Thanks for the read!

    • Comment 552822 by
      scorph GOLD AUTHOR 1156 Comments

      Hello Lostluggage, thx for the comment, you are right I was lucky to travel there during last summer holidays. Didn’t know that Binter used to serve something during canary island hopping but now you can find cheaper tickets with canaryfly no ?

      For the ATR rear facing seat I don’t see airline with that kind of special seats on the new ATR-600 series, but it was common on older version -200/-500.
      Have safe and nice flight !

  • Comment 552935 by
    Flying-Kolia GOLD 903 Comments

    Nice flight ! Quiet sad to see what are becoming the boarding pass, like shop receipt °-)

  • Comment 553036 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5273 Comments

    Did I tell you that I like the design of the tail livery ?

    Me too! It's such a beautiful livery 😍

    These new ATR's are really good on this small island hopping, the cabin is really comfortable for the 15 minutes flight.

    ATR 72-600 interiors always look so nice and fresh with these cabins.

    Beautiful report with beautiful photos and amazing aerial views! It's nice to dream of far-away paradise when stuck in confinement 🌴

    Thanks for sharing!

Login to post a comment.