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Airbus A340 - France, 1993

Detailing the development and operational history of the Airbus A340 Wide-Body Passenger Jet Airliner.

 Entry last updated on 10/27/2017; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ¬©

  Airbus A340  
Picture of Airbus A340

The Airbus A340 was first introduced with carrier Lufthansa in March of 1993.

The Airbus A340 series was already in design and development alongside the similar A330 series. In that respect, the two systems would go on to share a commonality in design and internal components with the major visual difference being number of engines (the A340 is fitted with four engines to the A330's two configuration). The A340 also differs in operational market, intended as a long-range, wide-body transport for light traffic markets.

Designed in 1987, the Airbus A340 was introduced in 1993 with carrier Lufthansa in 1993. Its internal layout used two aisles among its passenger seating arrangement. The original A340-200 series was a long-range model and featured a shortened fuselage. The A340-300 then appeared in 1996 and this model was marketed for short range operations with its stretched fuselage. Both were powered by 2 x CFM International CFM56-5C turbofan engines. Following the A340-300 were the A340-500 and A340-600 models, each with increasing operational ranges. Both became longer range solutions with uprated engines (Rolls-Royce Trent 500 turbofans) and stretched fuselages - the A340-600 holding the longest length of the entire A340 family of four.

To date (March 2014), total production of A340 airframes has reached 377 units. Production spanned from 1993 into 2011 and the product remains in active service.

September 2017 - September 26th marked the first-flight of a specially-modified A340 with new laminar-flow, drag-reducing wings. The aircraft was built under the Clean Sky BLADE project banner.

Airbus A340-300 Specifications

Service Year: 1993
Status: Active, In-Service
Type: Wide-Body Passenger Jet Airliner
National Origin: France
Manufacturer(s): Airbus - France
Total Production: 377

Structural (Crew, Dimensions, Weights)

Operating Crew (Typical): 2
Overall Length: 208.66 feet (63.6 meters)
Overall Width: 197.83 feet (60.30 meters)
Overall Height: 55.28 feet (16.85 meters)

Weight (Empty): 287,042 lb (130,200 kg)
Weight (MTOW): 609,578 lb (276,500 kg)

Power / Performance (Engine Type, Top Speed)

Engine: 4 x CFM International CFM56-5C2 turbofan engines delivering 31,200lbs of thrust each OR 4 x CFM-5C3 turbofan engines delivering 32,500lbs of thrust each OR 4 x CFM56-5C4 turbofan engines delivering 34,000lbs of thrust each.

Maximum Speed: 494 knots (569 mph; 915 kph)
Maximum Range: 11,564 nautical miles (13,307 miles; 21,416 km)
Service Ceiling: 40,994 feet (12,495 meters; 7.76 miles)

Armament / Mission Payload


Global Operators (Customers, Users)

Algeria; Argentina; Austria; Azerbaijan; Bahrain; Brunei; Canada; Chile; China; Colombia; Egypt; Finland; France; Germany; Greece; Iran; Jordan; Kuwait; Libya; Luxembourg; Madagascar; Mauritius; Malaysia; Namibia; Nigeria; Norway; Pakistan; Philippines; Portugal; Qatar; Saudi Arabia; South Africa; Spain; Sri Lanka; Suriname; Sweden; Switzerland; Taiwan; Thailand; Turkey; Tunisia; United Arab Emirates; United Kingdom; United States

Model Variants

A330 - Two Engine Variant on which the A340 is based on.
A340 - Base Production Series Model Designation; long range, light traffic specialization; two aisles.
A340-200 - Shortened Fuselage; long range model.
A340-300 - Lengthened Fuselage; short range model.
A340-500 - Increased Range to 15,745km.
A340-600 - Increased Range to 13,890km.

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