Iberia has announced it has farewelled the last of its remaining A340s, ending nearly 24 years of history with the Airbus model.
The A340 was particularly significant for the Spanish airline because of its vital role in connecting new long-haul destinations from Madrid.
Much like its sister aircraft the A380, the A340 is now a far rarer aircraft, with the pandemic forcing airlines to retire the four-engine aircraft.
The final Iberia A340-600 was registered EC-JLE and joined the fleet in September of 2005, making it just under 15 years old.
The plane was named after Nobel prize-winning Spanish neurologist Santiago Ramón y Cajal. Iberia had a total of 14 A340-600s in the fleet, serving destinations from London to Santiago.
Iberia’s A340 was by no means an old fleet of aircraft. While the oldest was 17 years old, the youngest was just over 10 years old. Many aircraft stay far beyond 20 years and continue to operate with no issues. The exit of the fleet will have a substantial financial impact on Iberia, too.
The airline’s original plan was to slowly phase out the A340, going from 14 to 10 this year, five by 2022, and all planes retired by 2025. However, the current pandemic has forced Iberia to retire the fleet immediately.
The A340 is a casualty of the times, with its higher capacity and fuel consumption no longer justifiable in these tough financial times.
Article courtesy of Airlinerwatch.com