Lufthansa plans to return its five stored Airbus A340-600s to service for the 2023 summer season, leading to the entire fleet becoming operational again.
The carrier placed its fleet of A340-600s into storage at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic and, in January 2021, announced that the entire Airbus A340-600 fleet was to be retired. However, in late March 2022, five A340-600s (D-AIHI; D-AIHP; D-AIHT; D-AIHU and D-AIHV) were returned to service, although only as a temporary solution (several years) rather than a long-term return.
Lufthansa’s A340-600s have a first-class cabin, a commodity which is unavailable on a significant number of its long-haul fleet. The only other first-class seating available is on the Airbus A380s, but these aircraft are currently in storage, and on the Boeing 747-8Is, which are based in Frankfurt. The five A340-600s presently in service are operating out of Munich.
Due to an anticipated increase in demand for first class and premium travel from both the business and private travel sectors during the upcoming summer season, the returning A340-600s will be based at Frankfurt Airport. The routes to be assigned to these aircraft have not yet been disclosed.
Two of the aircraft (D-AIHF and D-AIHX) are currently in storage at Teruel Airport in Spain, one aircraft (D-AIHW) is parked at Frankfurt and one (D-AIHY) at Munich, while the fifth aircraft (D-AIHZ) is undergoing maintenance at Lufthansa Technik Philippines in Manila.
The A340-600s are likely to be progressively retired after the summer 2023 season as new Airbus A350-900 aircraft with first-class cabins are delivered.