Virgin Atlantic Retires The A340-600

Virgin Atlantic has quietly retired its last three Airbus A340-600 aircraft. G-VFIT was the airline’s final A340-600 to operate a commercial flight, which was Lagos to London Heathrow on March 8, 2020.

Virgin Atlantic originally planned to retire the A340-600 in May 2020. However, due to the current global conditions of declining air travel demand, Virgin Atlantic accelerated the retirement to March 9, 2020.

The last three Virgin Atlantic A340-600s, G-VNAP, G-VWIN, and G-VFIT, were retired together and are now being stored. After G-VFIT completed its final revenue service from Lagos to London Heathrow, it was ferried to London Gatwick.

The A340-600 was originally supposed to be retired in 2019, but Virgin Atlantic postponed the retirement due to ongoing engine issues with its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner fleet.

Virgin Atlantic became the launch customer for the A340-600 in 2002.

At its peak, Virgin Atlantic operated 19 A340-600s

Virgin Atlantic began retiring the A340-600 in 2013. However, some aircraft found new life with airlines such as Hi Fly and Mahan Air.

Virgin Atlantic’s last few retired A340-600s could also be transferred to other airlines.

Virgin Atlantic’s A340-600s were replaced with newer and more efficient aircraft such as the Boeing 787-9 and A350-1000XWB.

Sources

A346 Image: https://www.airplane-pictures.net/photo/943903/g-vweb-virgin-atlantic-airbus-a340-600/
https://www.ifn.news/posts/virgin-atlantic-retires-airbus-a340-earlier-than-planned/

Video (same as text above):

Now, there aren’t many A340-600 commercial operators left:

  • Azerbaijan Airlines (only 1 in fleet)
  • Iberia (16 left, all to be retired by 2022)
  • Lufthansa
  • Mahan Air
  • Plus Ultra Líneas Aéreas
  • South African Airways (Planning to sell all A340s)

Sad to see this beautiful aircraft go. It’s pretty stunning in Virgin Atlantic’s livery.

39 Likes

Sad to see more and more airlines retiring the A340s

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Sad to see them go! But thank you for the detailed post!

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Most 4 engines planes are going to be retired because of B787, A350, B777X all these plane are very efficiency.

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R.I.P. I knew the era of quad-jets is coming to and end but it’s sad to see them go.

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No more “A Big Virgin Atlantic Thank You”??? :(

((loud sobbing))

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They should remake in their A350.

  • Yes, they should!!
  • no ew

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you mean quad engines?

But there will be no point to the livery…

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Remake what in what A350?

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My bad @anon41771314 yep, I mean that 4 engines

Man this was such a beauty. With the coronavirus spreading and the demand going lower, I think it’s time to say farewell A340.

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Remake the 350 or the 340? (This thread is about the 340 so I’m wondering if you made a typo.)

Yes it’s sad to see a legend retired, but for the environment it’s better to have more fuel-efficient, twin-engine aircraft.

The Virgin Atlantic livery does look great on the A346

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I’m assuming he means remake the “Thank You” livery on the A350.

Well then. This is really sad. I think the A340 was such unique aircraft, but this was likely the perfect time to get rid of them.

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Still, a bit tragic given these beauties are being torn apart and turned into mere soda cans…

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This is the best aircraft in the fleet in my opinion minus the A350. So iconic!

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That’s really sad 😩

I love Virgin Atlantic’s A340 😞

This makes me really sad

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