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The arrival of turbine-powered aircraft

Air Calédonie has ensured a mission of opening up the territory and the economic and tourist development since 1954.
Created by a handful of enthusiasts, it has been developed and modernized over the decades.

1968 – 1992: The arrival of turbine-powered aircraft

The increase in traffic forced the company to renew its fleet in 1968 and to turn to more modern, more reliable and larger aircraft: twin turboprops.

From the Twin Otter to the ATR 42

In 1968, the first turbine aircraft appeared in the Air Calédonie fleet: the Twin Otter, which had 19 seats on board, more reliable technology and better performance than piston aircraft. 9-seater Britten Normal Islanders will reinforce the fleet.

At the end of 1980, Air Calédonie passed the milestone of 100,000 passengers transported during the year.

In 1986, the first Air Calédonie ATR 42 landed in Magenta. It is a next-generation device and the company is among the first in the world to use it. It can carry 46 passengers. Two other ATR 42s will be acquired in 1988 and 1990, in particular to develop inter-island rotations. The ATR 42 is adapted to the local air network and allows the company to support the development of tourism domestically and in the islands. Two Dornier 228 will reinforce the fleet in 1990. Twice as fast as the Twin Otter, for the same number of seats on board (19), the Dornier is very economical and can land anywhere, including on short runways, such as in Bélep for example, where the ATR cannot land. The ATR 42s will be renewed with two new aircraft, one purchased in 1993 and another in 1997.