This news is going to make a lot of aviation geeks happy.
Lufthansa will fly five A340-600s out of Munich
Lots of airlines prematurely retired aircraft as a result of the pandemic. In 2020, Lufthansa revealed that it would retire its fleet of 14 Airbus A380s and 17 Airbus A340-600s. These planes were in long term storage, and it was stated that they’d only be reactivated “in the event of an unexpectedly rapid market recovery.”
Lufthansa has announced that it’s temporarily reactivating five Airbus A340-600 aircraft, which will be based in Munich in the summer of 2022, and will be retired after the summer of 2023. In other words, these planes will fly for a bit over a year. The planes will primarily serve destinations in North America and Asia, as we saw pre-pandemic.
Lufthansa is already in the process of trying to sell the other 12 Airbus A340-600s. There’s no further news on A380s being reactivated, so as far as I know the plan is still for them to be retired.
The A340-600 holds a special place in the hearts of many avgeeks. Visually it’s one of the coolest-looking planes — it’s long as heck (it’s longer than the 747-400 and A380), and it has four huge engines. There aren’t many airlines flying the A340-600 anymore, so this is quite a rare plane.
Lufthansa is flying A340-600s because of first class
Why would Lufthansa reactivate five Airbus A340-600s for just a couple of seasons? As it’s described, this is being done due to “growing premium demand, for both business as well as leisure travel,” and so that Lufthansa can strengthen its premium product out of Munich, and offer first class.
The reason this temporary solution is needed is because currently Lufthansa’s only planes with first class are the Boeing 747-8s, and they’re based in Frankfurt. In late summer 2023, Lufthansa plans to take delivery of some A350s with first class, which will be based in Munich.
In other words, without reactivating the A340-600s, Lufthansa wouldn’t be able to offer first class out of Munich until the end of the summer of 2023. Other than the A380, the only planes in storage that have a first class cabin are the A340-600s.
Lufthansa has made the decision to bring five Airbus A340-600s back into service. The planes will be based in Munich from the summer of 2022 until the summer of 2023, and will once again allow Lufthansa to offer first class service from Munich.
These planes will then be retired in 2023, once Lufthansa takes delivery of Airbus A350-900s featuring first class cabins.
I can’t wait to hopefully have another flight or two on the A340-600!
What do you make of Lufthansa’s decision to reactivate A340-600s?