Lufthansa to reactivate stored Airbus A340 due to anticipated demand for air travel

Lufthansa will bring back all its stored Airbus A340-600 aircraft to service due to the anticipated demand for air travel in the upcoming summer travel season. 

The airline, which has 10 Airbus A340-600s in its fleet, will reactivate the planes in Q2 2023, “to cover the high demand for long-haul flights for summer 2023,” a Lufthansa spokesperson confirmed. Five aircraft will be based at Frankfurt Airport (FRA), while the remaining five will be based at Munich Airport.

Currently, six Lufthansa Airbus A340-600s are designated as stored, per planespotters.net data. Two are parked at Teruel Airport (TEV) in Spain, one aircraft is stored at Frankfurt Airport and another at Munich Airport, while another one is currently at Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Lufthansa to reactivate stored Airbus A340 due to anticipated demand for air travel

While D-AIHU has been flying actively throughout December 2022, its last flight was on December 27, 2022, as it has not been active since, according to flightradar24.com records. Its last arrival airport was MUC. All 10 A340s are equipped with eight First Class seats, making them the only other aircraft apart from the Boeing 747-8 to boast the most luxurious cabin in Lufthansa’s fleet.    

Additionally, the A340-600s have 44 Business, 32 Premium Economy, and 213 Economy seats, according to the carrier’s seat maps. Lufthansa’s Airbus A380s, which are also scheduled to return to service in the next few months, are also equipped with first-class seating. 

The Airbus A340-600s, meanwhile, have had a tumultuous few years. Initially, Lufthansa retired each one during the initial outbreak of COVID-19, with seven exiting the airline’s fleet throughout 2020. But as borders opened, closed, and then reopened again, the fate of the aircraft type changed accordingly.

German carrier’s Airbus A380s are only likely to be reactivated just before the summer season.

In April 2020, Lufthansa decommissioned all of the four-engine jets but appeared to keep an open mind about eventually bringing back at least some of the planes. At the time, a spokesperson for the carrier said that it will decide on “the future use of the aircraft or a possible reactivation of a maximum of ten aircraft”, at a later date. 

In the summer of 2021, the German carrier brought back five Airbus A340-600s to support the high-demand season, before repeating the cycle of storing them and then bringing them back for the following summer season in 2022. Then, in March 2022, Lufthansa reactivated six of the wide-body aircraft. 

ALSO READ – Airbus A380 makes a comeback as travel demand increases amidst high fuel prices

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