Germany's flag carrier, Lufthansa, has announced that it will be retiring its entire Airbus A340-600 fleet 'temporarily' for one to one and a half years as it continues to reduce capacity amid the coronavirus outbreak. Indeed, the Airbus A340-600 is becoming a rare sight, with Lufthansa hinting at the majority of these aircraft to be permanently retired.
Lufthansa currently operates a total of 17 Airbus A340-600s, three of which have already been moved to Teruel Airport in Spain for storage. On 7 April, Lufthansa announced it would remove 7 Airbus A340-600s from service as part of its plan to halt operations with 42 aircraft. Therefore, the new announcement means it will be removing a total of 52 planes.
Lufthansa also operates the Airbus A340-300, of which it has 17 in service.
All the aircraft will gradually be flown to Teruel over the next two to three months. The Airbus A340-600s currently in Teruel include D-AIHC, D-AIHE and D-AIHF, all of which arrived within the last 72 hours.
"A decision on the future use of the aircraft or a possible reactivation of a maximum of ten aircraft will be taken at a later stage in time," the airline said in a press release.
Teruel is a commonly used airport when it comes to aircraft storage in Europe, along with Châteauroux in France. Iberia, Ukraine International Airlines and British Airways are all using Teruel to store a number of aircraft. This includes 5 British Airways Boeing 747-400s, two Ukraine International Boeing 777-200ERs and one Iberia Airbus A340-600.
D-AIHC, the first Airbus A340-600 to arrive in Teruel, is 16 years old. Its last commercial flight prior to temporary storage was from Bangkok to Frankfurt. This was soon followed by D-AIHE, a 16 year old Airbus A340-600 which last operated a flight from Cape Town to Munich on 18 March. Finally, D-AIHF is a 16 year old Airbus A340-600 which operated its last commercial flight on 16 February to Frankfurt from New York.