Once the longest-range commercial passenger jet on the market, the Airbus A340 is on its way out of regular use in many airline fleets around the world. Air Canada got rid of its last Airbus A340 way back in 2009, but what has happened to them since?
Airbus stopped production of the A340 in 2011, 18 years after its first models went into service with Lufthansa and Air France. Despite once holding the title of the longest-range commercial passenger jet in the skies, the A340 was eventually pushed out of the market by the Boeing 777.
The key advantage the Boeing 777 had over the Airbus A340 was its engines. While the A340 was released at a time where four-engine jets were the norm, by the time the Boeing 777 came around, engine technology had advanced enough that it only needed two.
The superior fuel efficiency offered by the Boeing 777 and other two-engine passenger jets left the Airbus A340 behind. While there are a number of airlines still flying the A340, including Lufthansa and Air France, most are in the process of phasing out the Airbus A340.
Air Canada’s Airbus A340s
Air Canada operated a total of 15 A340s between 1995 and 2009, all of which moved on to other airlines. Of these 15 ex-Air Canada Airbus A340s, only three are still in active service today. The rest have either been scrapped or stored.
The most recent to leave active duty was originally registered with Air Canada as C-FYLC. It moved on to LAN Airlines in 2007 and then SAS in 2014, where it was renamed Torfinn Viking. In fact, the majority of the ex-Air Canada Airbus A340s followed a similar route.
Four of them went to Swiss International Air Lines in 2007/08 and were renamed Zug, Solothurn, Altdorf and Delemont, after towns in Switzerland.
A further two went to Air Asia X, Air Jamaica and TAM respectively. One of the two Airbus A340s which went to Air Jamaica is still in operation. This particular aircraft has taken probably the most interesting path of any of its classmates.
Ex-Air Canada Airbus A340s still in service
According to Air Fleets, the Air Canada Airbus A340 originally registered C-GDVV went to a number of different airlines after Air Jamaica.
After stints at Turkish Airlines, AirBlue and Asian Express Airline, C-GDVV eventually ended up with its current owner, the Iranian government. Flight Radar 24 data reveals that it is now registered EP-IGA and still flies regularly within Iran. It is one of a number of A340s in operation in the country, 12 of which are operated by Mahan Air
Strict international sanctions mean that neither the Iranian government nor Iranian airlines such as Iran Air and Mahan Air are allowed to purchase aircraft from Boeing or Airbus. Iran managed to purchase a number of old aircraft from the big two manufacturers during a brief window where sanctions were lifted. These sanctions have since been reinstated under the Trump administration.
The remaining two ex-Canada Air Airbus A340s are currently in service with Aerolineas Argentinas and Kam Air of Afghanistan.