The airline with the best average rating is Air Caledonie with 5.7/10.
The average flight time is 4 hours and 18 minutes.More information
Second Caledonian "domestic" flight, with the return flight from Pines island, after 3 wonderful days on this incredible island.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Not many things to see on the taxiway, there is only this flashy yellow Robinson R44 helicopter sitting at the end of the tarmac.
But it was unnecessary to wait to long to see our aircraft arrival, sorry for the bad framing on the second picture…
Quickly came back in front of us, in order to get parked near the terminal building.
Tonight it's F-OZLI, a modern ATR 72-600 delivered new at the Caledonian airline on December 2016
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…
To get access to the gate you are still controlled by a boarding agent checking your passport and ticket.
Inside the small waiting area inside the boarding room, a bit like Easyjet way of boarding, but you have some seats.
and you've got a nice view on the ramp
Detail on the livery, the traditional drawing who change at every Air Calédonie aircraft, here is the Lifou Kanack houses.
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.
Tail face A/B … always two flag displayed, French one but also the Kanack flag.
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.
Two types of rotor vertical or horizontal ?
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.
At the front of the cabin you can find the nice painted bulkhead (with the same traditional drawing as outside).
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.
Front emergency exit
The overhead panel is brand new too with indication related to electronic devises use.
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 !
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.
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.
180° turn and engines are set to take off thrust
Climbing up the pin trees. With a nice prop noise in the cabin.
You can see the Oro bay perhaps the famous place on Caledonia (some pictures available on the bonus ;-) )
Right turn, as we are still climbing to reach our low cruise altitude.
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.
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 ^^)
Another two islet named Aventure & Duroc.
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.
Many islets are available if you want to play as Robinson Crusoé
We have reach our cruise altitude, P&W 127M engines are now quieter.
Quick look on the seat pocket in front of me, you can find two documents, first and mandatory one the satety card.
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.
Always the same and incredible sea color at every islet.
I don't know why but I really enjoy the view on the spinning propeller, definitely more graphic than jet engines.
Today's route extracted from flightradar24.com
What a pleasure to fly over the coast, reefs and lagoon of New Caledonia. It's just breathtaking.
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.
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.
"Normandie" district, here you can see most of the Noumea city.
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.
The big mountain on the right of the picture is the famous Mont Dore.
On the "6 Km" district house get an impressive view on the incoming traffic ready to land at Magenta airport.
The final approach is located a small valley surrounded by hills, and aircraft progressively gliding along it.
This football field is at the border of Tina mangrove.
At Tina you can also see the famous Tjibaou cultural center and his particular architecture.
Smooth landing, kudos at the pilots we've get close to 20 knots of crosswind when we land !
Left side of the airfield you can see hangars we're dedicated to general aviation and small airlines providing taxi/air ambulance service.
Escaping the runway by the last taxiway.
Passenger terminal is just few meters away.
Another Air Calédonie ATR is seated on the tarmac, coming from Ouvéa island.
Another 180° turn to be parked ready for departure,
Quickly crew's switch off the engines, as you can see at the rear there is some high relief on the surrounding.
Passengers didn't take too long to get off the airplane, even for us located in front.
Fuselage shoot from the main rear door
Did I tell you that I like the design of the tail livery ?
On the parking next to us, you can find this Bell 214 of McDermott Aviation an Australian company specialized on Heli-lift and firefighting.
To reach the terminal facility we need to walk few meters, near the tower.
We can have a last look on our aircraft of the day. Byebye Lima india !
And the next one that we will take to Mare as you can see on the next report.
Back to European standard on luggage claim area with an automatic luggage belt. Delivery happened 5 minutes after our arrival on the claiming area.
You just need to cover 10 meter on the groundside to be out the terminal facility. That's quick !
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.
The free carpark is full as usual… so people starts to park there car everywhere like sidewalk…
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.
Once again I hope you enjoy this report, on the bonus you can find pictures of the wonderful Isle of Pines:
A must do the traditional boat crossing of the Upi bay.
Kind of small Along Bay without tourist boats.
And a crystal clear water full of fishes !
For our last night on the island we get to the Meridien 5* hotel far from our travel standards but I must say that's … it's really nice :-3. Beach near the hotel.
You can access by feet to one of the famous spot of New Caledonia, the Oro bay natural swimming pool.
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 ^^.
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 ...