The beginnings of Transpac
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.
1954 – 1968: The beginnings of Transpac
On December 9, 1954, a handful of aviation enthusiasts created the first New Caledonian airline, the Caledonian Air Transport Company “Transpac” with the aim of operating an air service between Noumea, the interior and the islands.
From the “Fast” Dragon to the Heron
The company’s first plane landed on August 9, 1955 at La Tontouta. It is a De Havilland Dragon “Rapide” DH 89, a twin-engined wing with a covered surface that can carry 8 passengers. The maiden flight of the Dragon “Rapide” took place on September 28, 1955 over Maré and Lifou from Magenta. Then the lines to the Isle of Pines and Ouvéa opened in October 1955.
At the end of a year of operation, the Transpac, equipped with a single device, carries 5,057 passengers!
In February 1958, the Transpac acquired an aircraft that could carry 17 passengers, the De Havilland Héron DH 114 in order to respond to the increase in local traffic. The company subsequently acquired three aircraft of this type because it also had plans to develop regional lines, particularly to the New Hebrides.
February 9, 1961 marks the participation of the Territory in the Board of Directors of Transpac and on January 1, 1968, Transpac becomes Air Calédonie.