After withdrawing its 17 A340-600s in 2020, Lufthansa announced on Friday that it will reactivate five of these four-engine jets from mid-2022 on account of increased premium demand on long-range flights
The A340-600 has four flight classes, including first class, and can carry between 281 and 297 passengers, depending on the aircraft configuration.
The five Airbus jets will be based at Munich Airport and will be used on routes to North America and Asia.
The news came as a surprise because Lufthansa has implemented a program to decommission four-engine aircraft, which are less efficient and pollute more than modern twin-engine aircraft like the A350-900.
It is precisely the lack of Airbus’ advanced widebody that would have motivated the reactivation of the A340-600. According to Lufthansa, it is only in the summer of 2023 that the first A350-900 equipped with first class will arrive.
The airline, however, noted that the A340-600 will indeed be taken out of service in the future. Of the 17 aircraft that existed in the fleet until last year, 12 are in the process of being sold and the five that were reactivated will be sold later, as they return to service with the arrival of the A350s.
Lufthansa had 24 A340-600, the largest variant in the long-range widebodies family. At 75.4 meters long and with a maximum takeoff weight of 380 tonnes, the four-engine jet is only smaller than the A380.