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.
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.
I’m a massive fan of the Aircalin livery, especially considering what their old paint was like.
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’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.
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.
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.
Awaiting at your seat is a blanket as well as a pillow.
Each Hibiscus Business Class seat features a 15-inch IFE display.
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.
After the pre-departure beverages were provided, the menus for the flight were handed out.
Once our flight was fully boarded, It was time for departure. After a short taxi, we took of on runway 16R on-time.
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:
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
Apart from the odd presentation, the food actually tasted great, the curry barramundi was lovely!
The sides were fresh at least.
The seat controls are found on either left or right armrest, depending on where you sit.
The same goes for the IFE controller.
The seat has USB charging as well as a 110 volt power point.
After about 2 hours into the flight we started our descent 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.
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.