Lufthansa to resume flying 5 A340s to meet increased first-class demand
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Lufthansa is bringing some of its fleet of Airbus A340 aircraft back into operation in order to accommodate for increased demand.
The German carrier announced on Friday that it’s taking five of its A340-600 aircraft out of their long grounding in order to meet the demand of passengers looking to fly in first class. The A340s have a four-class configuration, including eight first-class seats.
Lufthansa will reintroduce the five previously grounded A340 aircraft beginning in summer 2022 on routes from its Munich (MUC) hub. As of the relaunch, the aircraft will primarily operate on routes to North America and Asia, though it’s not clear which specific routes.
“The decision to reactivate these aircraft is due to growing premium demand, for business as well as leisure travel,” Lufthansa said in a press release.
Currently, the airline is operating its A350 fleet out of Munich on these routes. The problem with that is that the A350s don’t offer a first-class product, which Lufthansa says is in high demand.
Prior to the pandemic, Lufthansa had a fleet of 17 A340 aircraft, however, it grounded them during the COVID-19-spurred downturn in travel demand. Of the 17 A340s, 12 of them are in the process of being sold. The five remaining aircraft are those that will reenter the fleet and then be sold at a later date.
Lufthansa’s A340s feature a total of eight seats in the first-class cabin spread across a 1-2-1 configuration.
In early May 2021, Lufthansa ordered 10 new long-haul aircraft — five A350s and five Boeing 787s — to replace the older generation and less fuel-efficient A340 aircraft.
Lufthansa said on Friday that by summer 2023, it expects to take delivery of the first of those A350-900 aircraft it ordered earlier this year. The new aircraft will come equipped with first-class seats and will operate these resumed A340 routes out of Munich.
In recent months, Lufthansa’s had to react to increased demand in a number of new ways. Earlier in June, the carrier announced that it will begin flying its Boeing 747-8 and Airbus A350 wide-body aircraft on two short-haul, intra-European routes this summer.
Between mid-July and early August, Lufthansa will fly a 747 between Frankfurt (FRA) and Mallorca (PMI) — a peak summer travel destination for Germans. Additionally, Lufthansa is flying its A350 from Munich (MUC) to Mallorca (PMI) as a one-off on July 31 in order to meet demand.
Elsewhere in Lufthansa’s fleet, the carrier announced in March 2021 that it’s going to begin phasing out a number of its aircraft. More specifically, the carrier is planning to phase out its Boeing 747-400s, 777-200s, Airbus A380s and more.
Featured photo by Liam Spencer/The Points Guy.
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