SriLankan Airlines retires last Airbus A340
ECONOMYNEXT – SriLankan Airlines, the first Asian airline to operate the four-engine Airbus A340 aircraft, said it has retired the last of its A340s after more than two decades in service, with a final commercial flight Thursday.
“The A340s played a vital role in our network expansion for the last two decades,” said Suren Ratwatte, Chief Executive Officer of SriLankan Airlines.
“This allowed the national carrier to explore new markets, contributing to the country’s economy by bringing in more tourists.
“These aircraft largely contributed to our Unique Selling Proposition of operating non-stop flights out of, and in to Colombo, which gave us an added advantage over regional competitors.”
The national carrier said in a statement it has inducted a brand new fleet of seven A330-300 aircraft which offer the latest comforts and technology such as mood lighting, on-board Wifi connectivity, and a sophisticated inflight entertainment system.
The A340s were introduced to replace SriLankan’s aging fleet of Lockheed L1011 Tristars, at a time when twin-engine aircraft did not quite have the range to fly non-stop from Colombo to SriLankan’s farthest destinations such as London and Tokyo.
The A340 had a range of over 13,000 kilometres and could carry nearly 300 passengers. The other A340s were retired over the last 10 months.
“However, as engine technology improved over the years, the twin-engine A330s began to operate on these routes, replacing the A340s which have a higher fuel consumption due to having four engines versus two,” the statement said. (Colombo/January 07, 2016)