New Caledonia-based carrier Aircalin is considering adding a third widebody aircraft, likely an Airbus A330neo, as it looks to strengthen connectivity to Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG).
The airline launched 2X-weekly service from the French territory’s capital Noumea (NOU) to Singapore (SIN) on July 1, and already has plans to increase frequencies and establish new airline partnerships in the southeast Asia region.
“We are working with Airbus [to] eventually [order] a third widebody aircraft,” Aircalin CEO Didier Tappero told the Aviation Week Network. “We want to have the capacity to fly Paris to Noumea, but it is still a project we have to work on.”
Aircalin currently operates two A330neo aircraft and one A320neo. It will receive its second A320neo in 2023.
Tappero said Singapore provides Aircalin with a window to connect to the rest of the region, including China, India and the Middle East. He added that SIN has been an important transfer point for French travelers flying between Asia and Paris.
The CEO noted that Singapore is already an important hub for French travelers arriving from Paris. Aircalin will fly twice-weekly over weekends, and wants to add a third service by September and a fourth “soon” to take advantage of transit passengers from France brought to Singapore by Air France and Singapore Airlines.
Mark Abensour, French Ambassador to Singapore, said the new service is in line with France’s Indo-Pacific strategy. He said it is a priority for Paris to connect its territories to the rest of the region to increase economic, cultural and political ties.
Aircalin will operate the NOU-SIN route 2X-weekly, and wants to add a third weekly frequency by September. Increasing the service to 4X-weekly is in the carrier’s future plans for the route.