About the Airbus 340
Airbus' engineers designed the A340 in parallel with the twin-engined A330: both aircraft share the same wing and similar fuselage structure and borrow heavily from the advanced avionics developed for the A320. True to Airbus’ unique family concept, the A340 offers an exceptional degree of operational commonality with all of the company’s fly-by-wire aircraft, allowing pilots to transition from one type to another with minimum training time. Qualified pilots can transfer to the A340 from the A330, or from the A320, in only a few weeks.
The A340-600 is the largest-capacity member of Airbus’ A340 Family, with an overall length of 75.36 metres and capacity for around 350 passengers, or up to 475 in a high-density seating arrangement. Depending on the model, it has a range of 6,700 to 9,000 nautical miles(12,400 to 16,700 km; 7,700 to 10,400 mi). Its distinguishing features are four high-bypass turbofan engines and three-bogie main landing gear. The jetliner’s four Rolls-Royce Trent 500 engines use only 56,000 lbs. of their certified 60,000 lbs. of thrust, resulting in longer on-wing lives. Furthermore, the use of four engines – as opposed to two larger ones – allows for a 13 per cent reduction in maintenance costs for operators.
In terms of range, the A340-600 offers unmatched operational flexibility on non-stop flights over remote areas such as oceans and mountain ranges, allowing for operations that are not subject to ETOPS (Extended-range Twin-engine Operational Performance Standards) regulations. This enables airlines to fly more direct routes – even long distances over water or on segments far from airports – saving travel time and cutting fuel consumption.
Over the years, 600 million passengers have flown well over 20 million flight hours and 2.5 million flight cycles with airlines flying A340s as long as 16 hours per day. Over 370 A340s have been ordered.