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Updates on the Thai Airways A340

In April 2005, Thai Airways received its first Airbus A340, an HS-TLA-registered A340-500. Ten A340s were operated by the airline in total (four A340-500s and six A340-600s), and they were used on the carrier’s long-distance route network, which at the time comprised London Heathrow (LHR), Los Angeles (LAX), and Zurich (ZRH).Thai Airways removed the four-engined aircraft from service after just ten years because operating them proved to be an expensive task due to high fuel expenses.

The airline’s penultimate A340 flight from Frankfurt (FRA) landed at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK) on March 28th, 2015. What has since happened to the carrier’s A340s?

Has the plane been sold?

Numerous rumors about Thai Airways selling their A340s have surfaced throughout the years. In May 2016, the Royal Thai Air Force purchased an airline’s A340-500, registered as HS-TLC.

The Nation, a Thai newspaper, stated in 2019 that a US logistics company was close to buying eight Thai Airways A340s for more than 4 billion baht ($115 million), despite the high operating costs of a four-engined aircraft. At the time, Sumeth Damrongchaitham, the airline’s president, indicated that the plan had been filed to the Thai Transport Ministry for approval, saying,

“I would say that investing in new aircraft is essential because it will improve our ability to compete. I think the idea will receive approval from the next administration.As stated in this video by the Simple Flying crew, the airline sold five of its A340s for a combined 350 million baht ($10.1 million) last year:

The outcome of the sales, however, is unknown given that nine of the airline’s 10 A340s (HS-TLC being the lone exception; it was sold to the Royal Thai Air Force) are still in storage, per the most recent information from the moment, Bangkok’s Don Mueang International Airport (DMK) is holding the three remaining A340-500s, while Pattaya’s nearby U-Tapao International Airport (UTP) is holding the six A340-600s.

Turnaround of Thai Airways

In an effort to reverse its fortunes, Thai Airways went through significant financial troubles in the late 2010s. The airline considered a number of options, including bringing back its A340s in 2019, but ultimately opted against it.

Thai Airways conducted a drastic restructure, eliminating several of its long-haul routes, as its financial problems were made worse by the pandemic. The airline recently sold several of its older Boeing 777s and used other methods, such as auctioning off seats from one of its Boeing 747s, to obtain much-needed money.It seems improbable that the Airbus A340 will ever again fly in Thai Airways’ magnificent purple and gold livery, despite the fact that the company has since returned to profitability. The Airbus A350-900, Boeing 777-300ER, and Dreamliner (both the 787-8 and 787-9 variants) are among the fuel-efficient twinjet aircraft being used by the airline to service its long-haul network. The carrier also revealed plans to acquire up to 30 additional widebody aircraft last month as its recovery from the pandemic continues.



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