Aircalin Updates Fleet

New Caledonia-based carrier Aircalin has signed a memorandum of understanding with Airbus for two A320neo and two A330-900neo aircraft.

The deal, which is valued at $790m at current list prices, was finalised and signed during a ceremony held in the capital Noumea on November 29.  The airline currently operates an all Airbus fleet of four jets, consisting two A320ceos and a pair of A330-200s.  It is yet to make an engine choice for its new A320neos, while cabin configurations for both types will be made later.

Didier Tappero, the airline’s CEO commented: “As part of our plan to boost tourism to New Caledonia, we have made a strategic decision to renew our entire fleet with the A320neo and A330neo to help grow routes and connect New Caledonia to the region.  The NEO aircraft with its state-of-the-art technology will burn less fuel, lower our operational costs and offer our passengers the highest standards in cabin comforts.

Aircalin will deploy the A320neo on its existing regional routes to Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, while the A330neo will boost services to Japan for onward connections as well as possibly being used to open up new destinations such as to China.

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