Lufthansa’s first A340-300 was delivered almost exactly 28 years ago. More followed that year, and the last arrived in 2001. While the A340-600 was withdrawn, the -300 variant soldiers on, at least until replaced by incoming B777-9s and B787-9s. We see where the quadjet is flying this week.
A brief look at Lufthansa’s A340-300s
According to ch-aviation.com, Lufthansa has 17 A340-300s, of which 14 are active. D-AIFE and D-AIFF are currently stored, while a third, D-AIGM, hasn’t flown since arriving from the US on December 17th.
All 17 aircraft are company-owned, ch-aviation.com shows, with some aircraft having twice as many premium seats as others, helping with varied route deployment. However, most have only about 13% of seats in business or premium economy, well suited to most of the leisure or otherwise lower-yielding routes operated (see below).
Lufthansa has significantly more A340-300s than other European users, including SWISS, Edelweiss, and Air Belgium. Indeed, earlier this festive month, we found that of airlines worldwide, only Lufthansa and SWISS were using any variant of the A340 to the US, which nicely summarizes how things have changed.
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Lufthansa’s A340-300 operations this week
Lufthansa has some 65 A340-300 flights from Germany between December 23rd and 29th, based on analyzing schedules available from data experts Cirium. Taking account of Christmas, that’s slightly down on the prior week, but it’s the same as next week. Intriguingly, it is more than is scheduled in early 2022.
All 66 departures are from Frankfurt, with the Star Alliance’s second-busiest hub of Munich last properly seeing the variant in 2014. Not surprisingly, the US will see fewer departures from Frankfurt on Christmas Day, but other regions are about the same as usual.
Where are they flying?
Some 17 destinations will welcome the A340-300 this week. With nearly half of all departures, the US is critical. Eight airports in the country will see it but note that Detroit, Philadelphia, and Seattle will have only one departure apiece, with the quadjet replacing the usual A330-300.
Hong Kong is fascinating. Due to ongoing major pandemic problems there, Lufthansa operates via Bangkok in both directions. This is presumably for crew change reasons, where they operate Frankfurt-Bangkok-Frankfurt and another set Bangkok-Hong Kong-Bangkok. Passengers cannot book the Bangkok leg on the two days it runs, hence the five-weekly Thai service.
- Orlando: seven weekly A340-300 flights in the week starting December 23rd
- Boston: six
- Denver: six
- Bangkok: five
- Bogota: five
- Cape Town: five
- Singapore: five
- Vancouver: five
- Dallas Fort Worth: four
- Tokyo Haneda: four
- Atlanta: three
- Mumbai: three
- San Jose (Costa Rica): three
- Hong Kong: two (see the note, above)
- Detroit: one
- Philadelphia: one
- Seattle: one
What are your experiences of Lufthansa’s A340-300s? Share them in the comments.