The aviation world is moving away from quad-engine aircraft. The passenger 747-8 has seen a minuscule number of orders when compared to its predecessors, the A380 will be ending production soon, and now the out-of-production A340 will be retired from Qatar Airways.
Qatar Airways A340
Qatar has been phasing the A340 out of their fleet in favor of newer, more efficient twin-jet A350s and 787s. In addition, Qatar Airways will be receiving some 777Xs in the future to replace their A380s.
This continues the trend of airlines toward fleet modernization with an emphasis on efficiency and smaller aircraft. Qatar Airways fits a whopping 372 passengers on their A340. Their A350-1000, in comparison, seats 327.
A large majority of those passengers come from economy class. Qatar Airways, known for their Qsuite, has a less stunning business class hard product on their A340s.
As you can see from the rendering above, on the A340, Qatar Airways goes for a 2-2-2 configuration that does not give every passenger direct aisle access
Qatar Airways operates their A340s in a two-class configuration. The above rendering is similar to the product you’ll find on the A340s, except in a darker, black and maroon color scheme that is indicative of Qatar Airways’ corporate color scheme.
Qatar Airways first received their A340s in 2006. Qatar Airways only ordered the A340-600 model and flew them for almost 13 years. In 2009, a Qatar Airways A340 was operating a route from London Gatwick to Doha using a fuel produced from natural gas.
The A340s used to operate in a 3-class configuration with lie-flat first class and angle-flat business class.
When Qatar reconfigured their A340s, they went from 310 passengers in a 3-class configuration (with 42 business class seats!) to the high-density 372 passengers with only 24 business class seats, although these seats were now lie-flat.
Now, Qatar Airways only has 4 A340-600s in their fleet and they are on the way out with the final routes now scheduled.
At the end of March, March 31st to be precise, the last A340s will fly to Kuala Lumpur and Colombo from Doha. To Sri Lanka, the current A340 will be replaced by an A330-300. To Kuala Lumpur, the A340 will be replaced by a Boeing 777-300ER.
If you’re looking to get on a Qatar Airways A340 before retirement, the last A340 to Bangkok will be on May 1st. After May 1st, the flight will be operated by an A330-200.
It is interesting to note that most routes will see a reduction in capacity- especially Bangkok.
Qatar Airways is still a member of Oneworld and a great way to earn and burn some AAdvantage or other partner airline miles. If you’re looking to get on one of the last A340 flights operated by Qatar Airways, your time is running out!
Do you like the A340? Will you be flying on Qatar Airways’ A340 anytime soon? Let us know in the comments below!