Singapore is getting a new non-stop air link to the South Pacific islands of New Caledonia, a French overseas territory, with twice weekly nine-hour flights by Aircalin (short for Air Calédonie International) using Airbus A330neo aircraft kicking off from July 2022.
This will be the first time Noumea has had a direct connection from Singapore since the mid-1990s, when Air France offered services on the route.
Flights will benefit from flat-bed seats in Business Class to and from this holiday destination, which describes itself as “The French paradise on Australia’s doorstep”.
Aircalin’s non-stop flights from Singapore to Noumea take 8 hours 35 minutes, clocking in at 9 hours in the opposite direction, operating every Friday and Sunday from 1st July 2022.
From 1st July 2022
* Next day
Noumea was last linked non-stop to Singapore in the mid-1990s by Air France, via a twice weekly extension of its regular Paris – Singapore service.
Indeed Air France will be codesharing on this new route, with timings in both directions designed to connect with its non-stop Singapore-Paris flights for passengers making the journey all the way to and from France with a transit in SIngapore.
This will provide travellers with a four-hour connection at Changi on the way from Paris to Noumea and a 4.5-hour connection in the return direction, or a city stopover option on the long journey.
Aircalin’s Airbus A330-900neo aircraft are fitted with 291 seats across three cabin classes:
- 26 Business Class
- 21 Premium Economy Class
- 244 Economy Class
Those travelling alone will prefer one of the window seats for added privacy.
These convert to fully flat beds, and Wi-Fi is also available on board.
Round-trip fares on this new route from Singapore to Noumea and back are priced at around:
- S$1,100-S$1,900 in Economy Class
- S$2,000-S$2,500 in Premium Economy
- S$3,200-S$3,800 in Business Class
Based on travel in July and August 2022.
Aircalin is a Flying Blue partner, so you can redeem Flying Blue miles for its flights.
The airline has not yet added its upcoming Singapore – Noumea route to its award chart, but we expect award pricing will mirror that charged for Tokyo – Noumea flights, which are an almost identical distance:
- Economy: 34,500 miles one-way
- Premium: 69,000 miles one-way
- Business: 86,500 miles one-way
Upgrade rates are also available using Flying Blue miles, from Economy to Premium, Economy to Business, or Premium to Business, based on availability and your ticketed booking class.
It is also possible to redeem Flying Blue miles on Air France / Aircalin itineraries from Paris to Noumea via Singapore, through the Air France website.
Travel to New Caledonia
For travel to New Caledonia, you should be aware of the following:
- New Caledonia is a dependent territory of France, but is not part of the Schengen Area.
- If you hold a Singapore passport, you don’t need a visa to visit New Caledonia for stays of up to three months.
- You must have a travel insurance certificate or health insurance (covering any expenses which might arise in connection with repatriation for medical reasons, urgent health attention and/or emergency hospital treatment) with a minimum coverage of EUR30,000.
- You must ensure that your passport has at least three months of validity after the date you intend to leave New Caledonia.
Fully vaccinated travellers do not need to quarantine in New Caledonia, however the following testing is in force at the time of writing:
- A PCR test within 72 hours of departure or an ART test within 48 hours hours of departure, for travellers aged 12 or over
- A PCR or ART test two days after arrival in New Caledonia
Further details are available here.
Singapore gets an interesting direct link to New Caledonia from July 2022, with these twice weekly non-stop flights by Aircalin.
Airbus A330-900neo aircraft will be deployed on the route, offering a flat-bed Business Class option on the nine-hour flights, while Air France will codeshare, providing more connectivity between Europe and New Caledonia.
It’s certainly nice to see that Changi Airport’s recovery from COVID-19 isn’t exclusive to pre-pandemic routes, with this new holiday option for adventurous Singapore residents.
(Cover Photo: Airbus)