Virgin Atlantic (launch customer) began commercial services in August, 2002. The initial seven A340-600 aircraft were delivered with overweight wings. Virgin Atlantic elected to receive replacement aircraft. The initial airframes were delivered at a reduced price to Iberia Airlines and Cathay Pacific.
The A340-600 flies 380 passengers in a three-class cabin layout over 7,500 nautical miles (13,900 km). The Airbus A340-600 is powered by four 56,000 lbf (249 kN) thrust Rolls-Royce Trent 556 turbofans. That's the same power as the engines of the A340-500. It also has an additional four-wheel undercarriage on the fuselage centre-line to cope with the increase of the weight.
The A340-600 is more than 10 m longer than a basic A340-300, making it with 75,3 m more than four metres longer than a Boeing 747-400.
By august 2007 the airbus website mentioned 77 deliverd A340-600 and total orders of 108, which is less than a year earlier (some airlines must have cancelled heir order), while Boeing was taking in plenty of orders for the 777-300ER.
In december 2006 the Airbus A340-600 suddenly got 7 additional orders from Lufthansa. Nico Buchholz, Senior Vice President Corporate Fleet, Deutsche Lufthansa AG said: "The aircraft play an active role in Lufthansa's ecological contribution to lower fuel consumption and reduced noise emissions".
By december 2006 some 69 A340-600 had been delivered.
By october 2006 total orders stood at 114, with 65 deliverd. Again it seems orders have been cancelled.
By september 2006 already 60 A340-600 had been deliverd, but total orders stood at 116. It seems that after november 2005, some A340-600 orders have been cancelled.
By january 2006 the total amount of orders had reached 116, but orders had stalled in 2005. The direct Boeing equivalent is the 777-300ER, which was first delivered in 2004, sold much better as it's lighter, uses less fuel and has only 2 engines.
By november 2005 some 48 A340-600 had been delivered to: Virgin Atlantic, Lufthansa, South African, Iberia, Cathay Pacific, China Eastern airlines, Thai, .... with 76 more aircraft on order.
In 2009 Lufthansa flies 24 A340-600.
by 2747.com / 2747 / buy / 2002 / airplane / Airbus A 340-600