Airbus A340 Spotting Guide


 

The four-engine, wide-bodied Airbus A340 was assembled at Toulouse, France. It seats up to 375 passengers in the standard variants and 440 in the stretched A340-600 series.

A total of 377 A340s were produced between 1991 and 2011; it is currently out of production, but remains in active service with several airlines.

Airbus A340-500 of Ethiad AirwaysAirbus A340 of Ethiad Airways

Launch customers were Lufthansa and Air France, which placed the A340 into service in March of 1993. Lufthansa has been the biggest operator of the A340, with 59 A340s in its fleet at peak deployment.

Four models were produced:

  • A340-200
  • A340-300
  • A340-500
  • A340-600

The most common model was the A340-300, with 218 aircraft delivered.

The A340 is used on long-haul, trans-oceanic routes due to its immunity from ETOPS restrictions. However, as the reliability and fuel efficiency in engines have improved, airlines have gradually phased out the A340 in favor of the more economical Boeing 777 twinjet. Airbus has positioned the larger variants of the Airbus A350 as a successor.

Airbus A340 Spotting Tips

If a 4-engine airliner has two engines under each wing, it must be a Boeing 747, Airbus A380 or Airbus A340. Identifying the 747 and A380 is easy for many spotters, leaving the A340 an obvious spot.

The A340 features a two-wheel front landing gear, and two four-wheel assemblies under the wings. In addition, the A340-200/300 has two additional wheels under the fuselage, and the A340-500/600 has an additional four wheels under the fuselage.

A 4-engine, wide body Airbus A340-200 showing its landing gear configuration. All passengers are housed on a single deck.
Airbus A340 Spotting Guide

View of the undercarriage of an Airbus A340-600 of Virgin Atlantic
View of the undercarriage of an Airbus A340-600 of Virgin Atlantic


Shown below is a side-by-side comparison of the 4-engine Airbus A340 (bottom) and the 2-engine A330 (top)
Side-by-side comparison of the 4-engine Airbus A340 (bottom) and the 2-engine A330 (top)

Airbus A340 Photographs

Airbus A340-300 of Lufthansa
Airbus A340-300 of Lufthansa


Airbus A340-313 of Air Canada
Airbus A340-313 of Air Canada

Airbus A340-500 of Ethiad Airways
Airbus A340-500 of Ethiad Airways

Cathay Pacific A340-600
Cathay Pacific A340-600


Airbus A340 of Air France Landing at Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) in St. Maarten ... One of our favorite airports!

 

Airbus A340 Airliners Parked at Storage Facilities in the Deserts of the Western United States

Jetliners in storage at the Phoenix Goodyear Airport in the Arizona desertAirbus A340-300, registration EC-KOU, in Iberia Airline livery in storage at the Phoenix Goodyear Airport (Staff photo)

Commercial airliners have limited lifespans, even the huge Airbus A340. Ultimately, they must be retired from service, stored in "airplane boneyards" or graveyards, and finally dismantled and scrapped.

Jetliners eventually reach end-of-life due to airframe wear and/or obsolescence. Some jetliners are temporarily taken off flying status, and must be stored in a environment that is conducive to preservation. Others are kept for spare parts for flying aircraft.

Also available is information on airliner boneyards in Europe, the UK, Australia, Russia and other locations around the world.

... and view photos of commercial airliner boneyards at www.AirplaneBoneyards.com

Surinam Airways Airbus A340-300, registration PZ-TCP, at the Pinal Airpark in Arizona (Staff Photo, May 2017)
View similar photos at AirplaneBoneyards.com
Surinam Airways Airbus A340-300, registration PZ-TCP, at the Pinal Airpark in Arizona

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