Monday, November 30, 2009

FLEET UPDATE: AIRBUS A340-300...Storage level reaches 7.5%

Photograph: Roland Nussbaumer [Global Jet A340-300 M-ABUS (msn 955) Basel/Mulhouse EuroAirport (BSL), Oct 17th 2008]

Total deliveries were 216 aircraft, two have been written off (one in an accident, the other through terrorist action), and one scrapped (MSN 016 retired in August 2007 at Goodyear, AZ, broken up by June 2009). The current total shows 214 aircraft, due to the existence of one prototype aircraft retained by Airbus for test work, and which has not been (nor will be) commercially delivered.

The final A340-300 built (illustrated above) was delivered to Global Jet Luxembourg on October 8th 2008, and is presently at Basel for an extended period of interior outfitting to become a VIP configured aircraft. The aircraft is currently registered in the Isle of Man, and is the only widebody aircraft to be thus registered, so far.

This aircraft is one of 16 A340-300s (7.5% of the global A340-300 fleet of 214 aircraft) parked as of November 1st this year. A second aircraft (ex-Lufthansa) is parked for refurbishment and interior fitting for future operation by the German Air Force.

All remaining stored aircraft, are however surplus to current requirements, and this is the first time that the A340-300 has registered significant storage levels, for this reason.

In early 2003, the stored fleet of A340-300s ramped up quickly to 15 aircraft (7.8% of the fleet at that time), however all but two of these aircraft were ex-Singapore Airlines aircraft that had been traded to Boeing. This was a pre-packaged deal, and all found new homes rapidly, the majority being placed with Emirates. The other two were ex-AOM/AirLib aircraft, and both were later leased to SriLankan Airlines.

Storage levels from mid-2004 then remained virtually non-existent until May this year, when numbers started to increase, and by November reached 7.5%.

Four aircraft are ex-Olympic Airlines, and are all parked at Athens following its closure in late October (replaced by a new airline - Olympic Air). Three are leased to Cathay Pacific, and are parked at Victorville, CA. AWAS has an ex-Air Mauritius aircraft parked at Brussels. Iberia has one aircraft stored at Madrid, while SAS has two stored, one at Lourdes and one at Copenhagen. One aircraft is VIP configured and stored at Hamburg.

Two -300s were leased and returned to service during November: an ex-Air Comet aircraft to Safi Airways, Afghanistan (the aircraft will be operating its regular Kabul-Frankfurt service), and one ex-Air France aircraft to Surinam Airways (replacing its 747-300). Meanwhile, SAS parked a third aircraft early November, therefore the total by now (Dec 1st) is 15 stored, or around 7% of the existing fleet (notwithstanding data amendments that appear later).

The remainder appear likely to be parked through this winter, with a possible return to service for some in 2010. The fate of the four ex-Olympic aircraft is yet to be determined.

A spreadsheet detailing the full production, in service and stored history of the A340-300 can be found by clicking on the link below.

A340 Fleet Data