What Happened To Air France’s Airbus A340 Fleet? - Simple Flying


The slowdown in aviation in 2020 has led to the retirement of many aircraft. We have seen the 747-400 almost disappear from the sky and the early retirement of some A380s. The A340 has been retired by several airlines, including Air France. This article takes a look back at the fleet over the past 27 years with Air France.

AF A340
Air France has been a major operator of the A340 since 1993. Photo: Air France

Launch customer in 1993

Air France has a long history with Airbus and the A340. It was the launch customer for the aircraft back in 1993 (together with Lufthansa) and has operated a total of 30 over the years since. This has included (according to Airfleets):

  • Six of the smaller A340-200 variants
  • 24 A340-300 aircraft

The delivery of the first aircraft began in February 1993. F-GLZA was the first A340-300 delivered, followed by the first A340-200, F-GNIA, in May 1993. Delivery continued up to 2001, with the last aircraft F-GNII delivered in April.

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A330 and A340
Airbus designed the A330 and A340 together, helping lower the cost of the A340 program. Photo: Getty Images

Retiring the first A340 in 1996

The A340-200 aircraft did not last very long with Air France. The first two were sold to Lufthansa and Sabena in March 1996. One more followed in November 1998, sold to Air Tahiti Nui, and two more