After arriving into Noumea on my flight to Sydney, I cleared immigration and exited the airport. I had a layover of about 7 hours so spent that time at the Le Meridien. My next leg was from Noumea to Tokyo onboard Aircalin’s brand new A330neo in Business Class.
After leaving the hotel, I made my way to checkin which was done quickly and made my way through security. There is a premium line which was being used and it brings you right to the front which is nice.
After clearing immigration I made my way to the lounge which was very compact and unfortunately quite busy due to the overall size. After spending about an hour in the lounge, boarding was started 30 minutes late.
For this flight, I decided to go with seat 7H, this is the last row of Business but is also ideal for getting cabin shots. Instead of the 2-2-2 featured on the A330, the Neo features new 1-2-1 suites giving every passenger direct aisle access and giving travellers overall greater privacy.
The new suites are a huge improvement from the older seats however one thing I was quite disappointed about is the actual height of the suite. When I was seated, It was quite easy to look over and around the cabin without having an obstructed view. I’m not a tall guy so this was quite surprising to me.
The product is quite similar to that found on Singapore’s new A380’s as well as their new regional Business Class. Passengers will be delighted to hear that these seats are also now fully flat unlike the older angled flat seats.
The 15.6 touch screen IFE was extremely responsive and quick but sadly lacked a huge range of entertainment.
The seats themselves were a little firm but comfortable, that’s also due to the seat being pretty much brand new. They also feature both a USB port and 110 Volt point which is found right next to your feet.
The controls for the seat are no longer buttons and are now touch functions found to either the left or ride side of your seat, depending where you sit.
Each seat features a remote control for the lights, a set of noise cancelling headphones as well as a little box for storage.
For this flight no pyjamas are provided but an amenity kit and slippers are.
The amenity kit includes your basic items as well as skin care products provided by Meltiva.
As I got seated the crew came around the cabin to offer a pre-departure beverage, I went with a Rose wine,
I was expecting the cabin to be about 70% full however to my surprise, the entire cabin was filled. Another interesting point I’ll mention is that there was no excitement around the aircraft. Usually when an airline gets a new plane they like to announce and mention it, this didn’t seem the case at all.
Shortly after everyone was seated, the menus and wifi vouchers were handed out. Each Business Class passenger gets a code which lasts for the whole flight otherwise 15mb is $4.7 USD, 50mb is $9.5 USD and 200 mb is $23.80 USD.
As I had started my morning early the previous morning, by the time I got onto this flight, I was quite tired and was able to sleep from just after takeoff until 50 minutes from arrival into Tokyo which means unfortunately I didn’t get to enjoy the breakfast service.
As I woke up and refreshed myself, the crew asked If I’d like anything and went with a coffee and some fresh fruits. I see that the plastic coverings are even used on longer hauls on Aircalin, very nice…
Shortly after having my coffee and fruit, we made our way into Tokyo. The weather was expected to be rainy and stormy but when I arrived it just cloudy with sun showers every now and again.
I was excited to be into Tokyo again, this time I was actually going to be leaving the airport for a longer period of time.
Here is Aircalin’s first A330neo, F-ONEO:
My flight on Aircalin’s A330neo was better than the previous flight but still not as good as I had hoped. Yes, the product is a significant upgrade, but there’s still some flaws. The things that let down the product is the actual height of the seats, the plastic covers on meals and IFE selection.
I’m glad I’ve finally given Aircalin a go but ultimately I was left disappointed. I was really hoping I was going to really enjoy them and they’d be something unique but for me, I didn’t have the best experiences.
To learn more about Aircalin’s A330neo, take a look here.