New Caledonia-based Aircalin has signed to buy two Airbus A320neo and two A330-900 wide-body aircraft.

The airline, which flies three to four times a week between Noumea and Auckland, will use the new A320neo on the route.

Aircalin will use the A330neo, to boost services to Japan and the possible opening of new routes such as to China.

"As part of our plan to boost tourism to New Caledonia, Aircalin has made a strategic decision to renew its complete fleet with the A320neo and the A330neo to grow routes and connect New Caledonia to the region," said the airline's chief executive Didier Tappero.


"The new aircraft would burn less fuel and lower operational costs and offer our loyal passengers the highest standards in cabin comfort."

Christopher Buckley, Airbus executive vice president, Europe, Africa and Pacific said the company was "delighted" that Aircalin had ordered the A330neo and A320neo family aircraft to grow tourist traffic to New Caledonia.

The A330neo was the most cost-efficient in its size category, offering a reduction in fuel burn of 14 per cent per seat, an increase in non-stop flying range of up to 4000 nautical miles, Aibus said.

Buckley said the growing tourism market in New Caledonia could open an opportunity to sell another A330 to the airline. The new A330 would add another 40 seats per plane.

The A320 is the world's best-selling single aisle plane with more than 12,500 orders since launch and more than 7000 aircraft delivered to some 400 customers and operators worldwide.

Last week another Pacific carrier, Fiji Airways, announced it was also upgrading its fleet.
The airline opted for five Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes to replace its existing narrow-body fleet on its short and medium-haul network to destinations including New Zealand.