- British-based carrier Virgin Atlantic says goodbye to its Airbus A340 fleet as the airline withdrew its last three from service on Monday.
- The A340s were kept in the fleet longer than expected due to problems with their 787-9 Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines.
- Subscribe to our daily newsletter for travel and aviation news and reviews.
Going into 2020, Virgin Atlantic operated 3 A340-600s (registrations G-VNAP, G-VWIN and G-VFIT). They were used to support operations due some of its Boeing 787-9s being taken out of operations because of problems with their Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines. The airline initially planned to phase out the A340s in May, but pushed up the time line to yesterday as a result of the general sharp decline in travel due to Coronavirus.
Virgin Atlantic operated a fleet of A340-300s from 1993, and was used alongside their Boeing 747-400s, and eventually opted for higher capacity A340-600s. As new models came to the market, Virgin bought more fuel efficient products including 14 A330-900neos to replace their current A330ceos, along with 12 A350-1000s to replace their aging 747-400s and retired A340s. So far, 4 of those A350s have been delivered. Once the 747s and A330ceos leave the fleet, Virgin will have a pretty modern and simpler line up of just three types when you factor in 17 of their already delivered Boeing 787-9s.
The last commercial A340-600 flight was operated by G-VFIT on March 8 from Lagos (LOS) to London Heathrow (LHR). It was then shuttled to Gatwick (LGW) on March 9 for prep works to leave the fleet.
[Featured Photo: Adam Moreira (AEMoreira042281)/Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 4.0)]