On March 6th, 2019, Qatar Airways attended at ITB Berlin where they announced the new economy class seats with a 4K display attached to them, which has received much attention for Qatar Airways enhancing the seats to be more comfortable and advanced than their predecessors. But another news was brought up and that is the retirement of the Airbus A340-600, which they currently have 4 of in their fleet and been in service since 2006. The aircraft is slated for last commercial flights on March 31st, 2019 from their Hub in Doha to Colombo, Sri Lanka and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with the route to Colombo will be replaced by the Airbus A330 and to Kuala Lumpur with the Boeing 77-300ER. A final farewell flight is to take place May 1st, 2019, will be flown to Bangkok, Thailand.
The Airbus A340-600 a four-engine aircraft, much like the currently operating Airbus A380-800 and Boeing 747-400/8i, it is an old aircraft, far less fuel efficient than the newer twin-jet airplanes Airbus A330neo, Airbus A350-900/1000 and Boeing 787-8/-9/-10. In recent weeks, we’ve heard the news of Airbus seizing manufacturing of the Super Jumbo A380-800 as Emirates, their largest customer of the aircraft has transferred orders to the A350 and the Australian Airline, Qantas cancelling 10 A380 orders. To add on, British Airways has announced plans to replace their Boeing 747-400 aircraft between 2021-2025 with the Airbus A350 and the new Boeing 777X.
With very few airlines today still operating the A340 series of aircraft (A340-300/-600) and many of those airlines planning to replace the old fleet of four-engine aircraft with more modern, fuel efficient and profitable aircraft, the era of multi-engine airplane is about to end.
The Airbus 340-600 is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful aircraft out there. It was the one aircraft I always wanted to fly, but never got the chance to. I still remember me, 5 years old, in Doha, boarding my plane, a 777-300ER, but seeing as I walked past the four-engine beauty standing at the gate beside my flight.
Will I ever get the chance to fly on? Only time will tell…!
- What are your thoughts about the retirement of the A340-600
- Is the era of four-engine aircraft coming to an end very soon?
- Have you ever flown or will fly the A340 (before it’s retirement completely)?
- Azerbaijan Airlines is the only airline to still operate the Airbus A340-500 variant on commercial routes!
- Lufthansa is the airline to operate most amount of A340-300/-600’s as of today with plans to retire -600 soon!
- Scandinavian Airlines is said to replace their again fleet of A340-300’s with A350 in the coming years!
- There is currently 238, A340’s in service with 42 to be retired soon, from airlines such as: AF, QR, LH and VA!