Airbus A340 - Long-range four-engine aircraft, used for transatlantic flights
The Airbus A340 is a long-range wide-body commercial jet airliner with four engines, commonly used for transatlantic flights. The family of A340 includes the second longest commercial plane, after the Boeing 747-8, with the Airbus A340 seating between 240 - 359 passengers, depending on the model, and having a range of between 6,700 to 9,000 nautical miles. There are 375 Airbus A340 currently in service, with Lufthansa being the largest operator of the Airbus A340, and airlines such as Iberia, Virgin Atlantic and South African Airways being primary users, too.
Airbus A340 - Family of planes designed to suit airlines' differing requirements
The Airbus A340 was developed to offer excellent range at low cost, and boasts capabilities that make the aircraft attractive to a range of operators. Four versions of the Airbus A340 have been developed - the A340-200, A340-300. A340-500 and the A340-600 - with the family sharing similar structure and systems as the twin-engine A330, and varying fuselage lengths offering the chance to accommodate many different requirements. The A340-300 is a quiet mid-size aircraft, whilst the A340-500 and A340-600 provide the latest in interior comfort and in-flight services on the company's longest aircraft, measuring up to 75m in length, with the most up-to-date technology such as aerodynamic design, and weight-saving composite structures.
Airbus A340 - Free from restrictions that apply to twin-engine jetliners
Being free of the ETOPS long range restrictions that apply to twin-engine jets, the Airbus A340, with its four engines, is able to fly in and out of airports that would otherwise be off-limits to other aircraft. Use of the Airbus A340 has opened up new routes and eliminated the need for unnecessary stops along the way, however because of rising fuel costs, many airlines are re-examining their long-haul flights and cutting back on routes, as well as considering the use of the Airbus A340, due to its fuel consumption. Airbus are constantly striving to create efficiency and increase performance, with improved packages, new manufacturing techniques and more powerful engines on its A340.