Aircraft of the Month: Airbus A340-300

The A340-300 is a popular four-engine aircraft used in the long-range commercial passenger jet market.

Developed by Airbus in the late 1980s to compete with Boeing’s 767 aircraft, the A340-300 was manufactured alongside the A330 to maximize productivity and minimize costs.

While the A330 and A340 share the same fuselage, landing gear, tail assembly, flight deck and basic wing, the significant difference is that the A330 is equipped with two engines and the A340 has four.

The A340-300 model was the most popular A340 model purchased, with 218 sold to various airlines around the world. Airbus announced in November 2011 that the A340 would no longer be produced due to lack of new orders, with airlines opting for more economical twinjet aircraft. 

Operators: Various including Lufthansa, Air Canada, Air France, Air China, China Eastern, Virgin Atlantic and Cathay Pacific.

Manufacturer: Airbus

Country: France

First Flight: October 25, 1991

Fuel Capacity: 147,850 litres

Maximum Altitude: 12,527 metres

Operating Range: 13,700 km

Crew: 2 pilots

Cruise Speed: 871 km

Engine: 4 CFMI CFM56-5C engines

Height: 16.85 metres (55ft 3in)

Length: 63.60 metres (208ft 8in)

Wingspan: 60.30 metres (197ft 10in)

Passenger Capacity:  295

Did You Know? The A340-300 was the first commercial aircraft (alongside the A330) to be designed entirely by computer aided design (CAD) software.

The YVR Connection:  Virgin Atlantic Airways will operate an A340-300 on its non-stop service between YVR and London Heathrow (LHR) beginning May 2012.


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