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wayne albertson articlesAirbus A340 - Forgotten Fleet

The Airbus A340 entered service in June 1995 with the arrival of Fins 981 & 982 leased from International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC). Deliveries direct from Airbus began in November 1996. They had been ordered to replace the B747-400 and L1011 fleets on international destinations. 

I refer to them as the “Forgotten Fleet’ because they arrived with great anticipation but left with almost no interest and do not seem to be missed.

Although a sleek and comfortable aircraft on long range routes; it was underpowered with the 4 CFM56-5C4 engines adding considerable flying time to those routes and were gradually replaced by the faster and more fuel efficient twin engine A330 and B777.

Their time within the fleet was relatively short spanning only 13 years, 1995 to 2008.tmb a340

I can account for 15 aircraft that flew in AC livery between 1995 and 2008. There were thirteen -300 series and two -500 series. Orders were placed for the -600 series but deliveries were deferred twice and finally cancelled. Five of the originals still show active including Fin# 908 which appears to be in VIP service for the Iranian government. Click here to view my list of the current aircraft status.

I will write about my own personal connection to this fleet in our next issue.

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