TAP Air Portugal Set To Retire Final Airbus A340’s Sooner Than You Think

In recent months, Portuguese airline TAP Air Portugal has been taking delivery of new widebody aircraft, namely the Airbus A330neo. This fleet modernization has gone hand in hand with the phasing out of the airline’s old quad-jets – the Airbus A340. Now there are only two remaining A340s in the fleet, and they won’t be around for long…

A TAP Air Portugal A340
TAP Air Portugal has only two A340s remaining in its fleet. Photo: TAP Air Portugal

The last planes standing

According to a tweet by @cmlisbonspotter, the airline’s two remaining Airbus A340s will fly their last flights this week. Data gathered from AirFleets show that these two aircraft carry registrations CS-TOB and CS-TOC. These jets are roughly both 24 years old and have apparently served with the airline since coming out of the Airbus factory.

The final flights

Routesonline shows that the last A340-300 operation will take place on the following routes this week:

  • Lisbon – London Heathrow. Last flight October 22nd
  • Lisbon – Luanda. Last flight is October 26th (Overall last flight)
  • Lisbon – Maputo. Last flight is on October 25/26.
  • Lisbon – Recife. Last flight is on October 25th.
  • Lisbon – Rio de Janeiro. Last flight on October 22/23.

The phase-out was previously scheduled until late-December 2019. This plan always remains subject to change as operational requirements may call for a deviation.

TAP Air Portugal Airbus A340
The iconic A340 will be the last quad-jets for the carrier. Photo: Wiltshirespotter via Wikimedia Commons

The replacements

TAP air first A330neo
The A340 can’t compete with the efficiency of the A330neo. Photo: Airbus

As stated above, the aircraft that have been taking over the routes once dominated by the A340 have been the newly acquired A330neo, of which the airline has 15. Other airlines – SAS for example – are also retiring their A340s. However, their choice of replacement has been the A350.

It was back in late November that Airbus delivered its first A330neo to the airline. In fact, TAP Portugal was the launch customer for the A330-900neo. TAP Portugal has used this opportunity to fit out their new A330neos with a whole new interior.

There are two versions of the A330neo, the A330neo-800 which can travel 7500 nm with 257 passengers, and the A330neo-900 which can travel a 6550 nautical miles with 287 passengers. For TAP there will be a three-class layout with 34 full-flat business class, 96 economy plus and 168 economy class seats.

 

A330 neo
TAP Air Portugal are the launch customer for the A330-900neo. Source: Airbus

Conclusion

TAP will likely be happy to see the old A340s out of the fleet as they were notoriously bad for in terms of fuel efficiency. Introducing modern, efficient aircraft like the A330neo as well as the Airbus A321LR should offer reawarding savings for TAP.

If it looks like you’ll miss a last opportunity to fly on the TAP A340, we have a September list of airlines still operating the aircraft type. In Europe, airlines like Iberia, SWISS and Lufthansa still use the aircraft with no official announcements of retirement.

Have you ever flown on a TAP Air Portugal Airbus A340? Share your experience with us by leaving a comment!

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Francois-Xavier Pinard

both A340 have flown to Teruel airport, known for its activities of dismantling old aircrafts