Review – Aircalin A330 Business Class, Sydney – Noumea

by Zac George

Aircalin is an airline that has always fascinated me. There isn’t too many reviews out there compared to other carriers in the region so I thought I’d give them a go and see what their onboard service is like. I decided I’d first fly Aircalin’s A330. in Business Class from Sydney to Noumea. I started my flight with some time in the American Express lounge which unfortunately was a little busy to get photos of.

My favourite part of this lounge are the views you’re given, the windows give you a fantastic look onto the tarmac.

American Express Lounge, Sydney

While I was in the lounge I watched a Virgin A330 depart from the gate and a few minutes later another A330 crept over. It was the aircraft taking me to Noumea, F-OJSE.

Aircalin A330

I’m a massive fan of the Aircalin livery, especially considering what their old paint was like.

Aircalin A330

Boarding started on time and Business Class guests were asked to board shortly after passengers needing assistance were all onboard. For this flight, I was seated in seat 5A.

Aircalin A330 Business Class

Aircalin’s A330-200’s feature a total of 24 Business Class suites which are fitted in a 2-2-2 configuration. The seats are very similar to Qatar’s older 777 Business Class but there’s quite a major difference, these seats are angled flat, not fully-flat.

Aircalin A330 Business Class

The Business cabin was about 50% full but I noticed something quite interesting on the flight, most passengers were seated on the right side of the aircraft with only a couple of people on the left side, quite strange.

Aircalin A330 Business Class

The seats themselves are 16 years old but are surprisingly in ok condition. The seats are fine for a flight to Sydney but If I were flying this to Osaka or Tokyo, I’d be quite disappointed.

Aircalin A330 Business Class

Awaiting at your seat is a blanket as well as a pillow.

Aircalin A330 Business Class

Each Hibiscus Business Class seat features a 15-inch IFE display.

Aircalin A330 Business Class

The crew came around to ask passengers if they would like a water or champagne, I went with the Champagne. Now usually when passengers are seated and comfortable, the crew will usually be around talking to passengers or assisting them, this wasn’t the case on Aircalin, the crew rarely seemed to want to come into the cabin.

Pre-departure Champagne

After the pre-departure beverages were provided, the menus for the flight were handed out.

Inflight Menus

Once our flight was fully boarded, It was time for departure. After a short taxi, we took of on runway 16R on-time.

Departure Out Of Sydney

 

Departure Out Of Sydney

 

Departure Out Of Sydney

After levelling out, the crew came around and offered a beverage before the meal service started as well as providing some dried olives and nuts.

Here are the menus:

 

After Takeoff Beverage & Snacks

For the main meal, I went with the Barramundi. Now I want to talk about the presentation, I felt like I was on a delivery flight. What is with the plastic covers? It looks incredibly tacky and cheap

Barramundi

Apart from the odd presentation, the food actually tasted great, the curry barramundi was lovely!

Barramundi

The sides were fresh at least.

Plastic Covers

The seat controls are found on either left or right armrest, depending on where you sit.

Seat & Lighting Controls

The same goes for the IFE controller.

IFE Remote Controller

The seat has USB charging as well as a 110 volt power point.

In-Seat Power

After about 2 hours into the flight we started our descent into Noumea.

Arriving into Noumea

It was quite a cloudy approach however once we got below the heavy cloud, I was given great views of clear blue water, I recorded the landing and will upload it shortly.

Arriving Into Noumea

 

Arrival into Noumea

Overall

I’m glad I’ve given Aircalin a try but it was not quite what I was expecting and to be completely honest, I was pretty disappointed with this flight. This product won’t be on the Sydney route any longer as the A330neo will be put on the route but the product wasn’t the issue.

I was most let down by the presentation of the food and the crew attitude, it seemed like they were not really wanting to interact with passengers which is a shame.

A few hours after arrival I flew the A330neo to Tokyo and that post will be posted stay tuned for that.

Here is my Youtube, the landing video will be up shortly.

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2 comments

Brad August 16, 2019 - 1:03 pm

From a weight and balance perspective that can be very dangerous. Be curious to know how many were on the left side.

Reply
Zac George August 16, 2019 - 11:05 pm

I agree, was quite interesting, never seen that before.

Reply

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