MONDAY JUN 17, 2024
×
Search AeroXplorer
The Story of the Forgotten Emirates A340 Fleet

The Story of the Forgotten Emirates A340 Fleet

BY GABRIEL KRAMP Published on May 22, 2024 0 COMMENTS
Photo: Emirates

Emirates Airline

 

Emirates (EK), based in Dubai, UAE (DXB/OMDB),  is one of the world’s largest global carriers and is well known in the aviation world for flying a massive fleet of over 100 Airbus A380s as well as approximately 130 Boeing’s high-capacity 777-300ERs. But Emirates Airlines’s fleet wasn’t always as simple as it is now, and it operates many types throughout its history that may not be known to many, even those well-versed in aviation.

 

Airbus A340

 

One such fleet type operated by Emirates Airlines in the past is the Airbus A340. From 2003 to 2016, the airline operated 18 of Airbus’ long-range high-capacity A340s, including the previous record-holder for the longest-range aircraft, the Airbus A340-500.

 



ADVERTISEMENT • REMOVE ALL ADS


 

File:A340-500 (1188021268).jpg - Wikimedia Commons
Photo: https://images.app.goo.gl/RfRDXzCyVfef7Jts5

 

What’s fascinating about this fleet is that it’s rarely talked about in terms of Emirates’ past. Still, it played a significant role in the growth and maturity of the Dubai-based carrier. While 18 aircraft over 15 years isn’t many, it was enough to allow the airline to grow and sustain new routes that would not have been possible before.

 

Emirates was the launch customer of the long-range A340-500 and took delivery of the first ten of these modern-for-the-time aircraft in October 2003. The airline also took delivery of a further 8 A340s, those being of the smaller and shorter-range A340-300 model.

 



ADVERTISEMENT • REMOVE ALL ADS


 

File:Airbus A340-500 Emirates (UAE) A6-ERG - MSN 608 (4219880276).jpg -  Wikimedia Commons
Photo: https://images.app.goo.gl/ARUJqXrkoESKTAuW6

 

However, being a four-engined fuel-inefficient aircraft type, the A340, while versatile, presented high costs to the airline, ultimately leading to its retirement in 2016. During the A340’s decade-and-a-half-long tenure at the airline, the type operated on high-profile routes to the USA, Europe, and Southeast Asia.

 

Emirates A340

 

The exciting part of the Emirates story with the A340 was that the retirements of the aircraft were done extremely slowly over several years, and more than half of the plane wasn’t repurposed to new owners, despite their young age of just over ten years at retirement. Emirates returned four A340-500s (the original four delivered in 2003) to Airbus as soon as mid-2013 for scrapping in an attempt to phase the type out of the fleet and move on to fuel-efficient Boeing 777s and high-capacity A380s.

 



ADVERTISEMENT • REMOVE ALL ADS


 

Emirates A340-500 A6-ERG | Departing Brisbane YBBN BNE is th… | Flickr
Photo: https://images.app.goo.gl/ekaZ6puu8XD5jNuV8

 

The remaining 14 aircraft were either scrapped for parts, left to sit in the desert, or transferred to new owners, though the latter is the least expected place to find an ex-Emirates A340 nowadays. The airline’s last A340 to leave the fleet in 2016, was transferred to new ownership in South Africa. 

 

The Emirates A340 fleet is an exciting story that shows that the airline was loyal to the aircraft type but was keen to move on to more modern technologies when available. The small fleet was, in a way, unique in that the airline, as always, typically didn’t lease the majority of its aircraft as it did with the A340. It also might clue one into the airline’s possible hesitancy in ordering the type in the first place, even if it was the launch customer of one of the variants.

 

 AeroXplorer is on Telegram! Subscribe to the AeroXplorer Telegram Channel to receive aviation news updates as soon as they are released. View Channel 
Gabriel Kramp
Student at the University at Albany, but grew up in rural Massachusetts. Dream job of aircraft dispatcher for Delta (favorite airline).

Comments (0)

Add Your Comment

SHARE

TAGS

NEWS EmiratesA340FleetUnited Arab Emirates Airbus Emirates A340Airbus A340Emirates Airline

RECENTLY PUBLISHED

Why Using Mobile Devices on Airplanes Are Prohibited During Takeoff and Landing. Why mobile phones can't be used during takeoff and landing: there are certain reasons to acknowledge that why using mobile devices on airplanes is prohibited during certain stages of their flight. INFORMATIONAL READ MORE »
The Insane Growth of Turkish Airlines When you think of an airline that never seems to stop growing, there’s no better example than Turkish Airlines. The carrier continues to rapidly expand its already massive global reach, having inaugurated its newest American destination with more expected to follow soon. Not only this but Turkish recently placed a massive aircraft order with rumors that another one will be coming shortly as well. NEWS READ MORE »
A Panoramic Windowless Cabin Has Set the Business Aviation Abuzz Spike Aerospace has been stirring up quite the buzz with its ambitious supersonic transport project, as Business Aviation is one of the prime reasons for the modernization of the aviation industry. NEWS READ MORE »


SHOP

$2999
NEW!AeroXplorer Aviation Sweater Use code AVGEEK for 10% off! BUY NOW

FOLLOW US ONLINE