On the Air Calin economy class page, it has this to say about catering:

On long-haul flights from Noumea, passengers are served meals blending the scents and savours of New Caledonia with gourmet French and international cuisine.

However, try as I might, I can't seem to find anything on their website where they explain which international flights are long haul, and which aren't. This makes it tricky to work out if my upcoming flight with Air Calin will have food or not...

Is it done by distance, or flying time, or certain countries, or something else?

  • Why don't you contact them and ask? That's the only authoritative answer you will get. Dec 26 '13 at 10:28
  • 3
    Also check your tickets. Information about meals is often indicated there. Dec 26 '13 at 10:31

I found the answer in the in-flight magazine!

Aircalin class as long-haul their flights to Japan and Korea. These flights get the full catering service, as well as an enhanced selection of films on the A330.

Flights to New Zealand, Australia and the surrounding islands are not classed as long haul. However, they do still have some catering, which is nice! For an evening flight from Australia, it's something like a wrap or a sandwich, a small salad and a bit of dessert. There's also a drinks trolley, which is complementary for everything except champagne.

On the medium haul flights, if it's an A330 there are some films, tv shows, music etc, along with quite a bit of information on New Caledonia. If it isn't an A330, then there's just a fixed selection of TV shows broadcast.


The French Wikipedia page mentions, in the fleet section, that the airline has one A330 for what it calls long-haul flights and one (plus an A320) for medium-haul flights. This information is not sourced and I could not find any information backing this up on Air Calin website.

The list of long-haul flights mentioned there is:

  • Nouméa-Japan (Osaka or Tokyo),
  • Nouméa-Seoul,
  • Nouméa-Papeete

and are all operated with an Airbus A330-200 delivered in December 2002.

All flights to Australia, New Zealand, Fidji, Vanuatu and Wallis are considered medium-haul.

  • I think they now have more than one A330, as our flight over from Australia was on one
    – Gagravarr
    Dec 26 '13 at 23:40
  • Yeah they have 2, one for long haul and one for medium haul.
    – Vince
    Dec 27 '13 at 7:20

Well, Wikipedia is defining it based purely on time:

Short-haul flight:      <3 hours
Medium-haul flight:     3 to 6 hours
Long-haul flight:       >6 hours
Ultra Long-haul flight: >12 hours

However each airline can just make up their own definitions as far as I can tell -- particularly if your flight time is close to one of those windows. It's also possible you can tell depending on what plane you have.

Now I also thought there was an international law requiring free food on flights over a certain time, but I can't find it and it certainly appears that there are still long haul flights with no free food (judging from some comments I saw while looking for the law). Ari Calin will be covered by French aviation law, so maybe that would help but I can't read french ...

However, it looks like they have a 'manage booking' page -- if you log in there it should tell you what meal your getting (if you're getting one).

If you post the route you're flying I'm sure someone will be able to say definitively, otherwise check the ticket.

  • Sadly there was nothing on the ticket or the website, though those normally work for most airlines!
    – Gagravarr
    Dec 26 '13 at 23:41

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