Qatar Airways has a rapidly expanding fleet. They have over 200 aircraft in their fleet, and operate an amalgam of Airbus and Boeing aircraft. The airline has been the last carrier in the Middle East to fly the A340. This reign will soon come to an end, with AirlineRoute reporting that the airline will cease to fly their A340s at the end of March, per schedule. I suspect the airline will completely phase out the A340 by the start of summer.
The A340 History with Qatar Airways
The A340 was one of the first Airbus widebodies to join the QR fleet. They followed the A300 and A310. Qatar Airways began launching long haul flights with their A340 fleet, with one of their first A340s now flying for the government of Qatar.
Their current fleet of four A340-600s has seen their interiors change a lot over the years. They initially offered first class, similar to the first class they have on their A380s. This was subsequently removed in favor of improving their business class seats, and reducing the number of premium seats on the aircraft. So far, their A340s were retrofitted to have only business and economy, and have one of the longest economy cabins in the world. Their A340s have 24 business class seats, in a 2x2x2 configuration between doors 1 and 2. The rest of the long aircraft consists of economy, with a total of 348 seats. As a point of comparison, their A350-1000s have a total of 327 seats.
Where to Fly the A340 One Last Time
Currently, Qatar Airways flies the A340 to three destinations in their network. They have one daily flight, each, to Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Colombo. The airline has only four A340s left, which makes sense as to why such a limited number of routes. There is still open award space on some of the KUL and CMB flights, while there is spotty availability on the BKK flight. If you want to search for availability, check the AA.com website.
The final dates for each route are as follows:
Doha-Kuala Lumpur and Doha-Colombo have their last flights on March 31st. After this, the airline will likely retire 2 of their A340s.
Doha- Bangkok will be the last route flown by the Qatar Airways A340. The final flight will be on May 1st.
These dates are subject to change, but I don’t expect the A340 to fly beyond the end of May.
Personally, I love 4 engined aircraft. It is sad to see that they are slowly all being put out to pasture. With the Queen of the Skies (the 747) slowly being retired throughout the world, and the A380 production to end in 2021, there will be fewer and fewer quad engines out there. The Qatar Airways A340 has seen a variety of routes with the airline, and has now reached the end of its functional purpose. If you have a chance to fly it one last time, please get back to me and tell my what you experience was like!
What do you think? How do you feel about Qatar Airways retiring their A340s? Do you think Qatar Airways retiring their A340s is a good decision? Let us know!
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