Middle Eastern carrier Qatar Airways has operated an incredibly diverse fleet of aircraft. These days the carrier operates everything from the small and nimble Airbus A319LR right up to the Boeing 777 and Airbus A380. If we include its cargo division, it even operates the Boeing 747-8F (although it recently said goodbye to its A330Fs). So, having left the fleet in the Spring of 2019, what happened to the airline’s four A340-600s after serving Qatar Airways for over 12 years?
“Qatar Airways chose the A340-600s because they can fly very long nonstop, point-to-point routes – such as from its Doha base to the USA, while also being economical on shorter routes to Asia.” –Airbus statement (2003)
Qatar Airways took delivery of four A340s between September 2006 and March 2007. Since there were only these four A340s under the care of the airline’s commercial passenger service*, let’s take a look at each individual aircraft and examine what happened to each and every jet.
*We should note that Qatar Airways’ special VIP division, Qatar Amiri Flight, operated three other A340s. These won’t be covered in this article.
The four A340-600s
A7-AGA: This aircraft was withdrawn from use in April 2019. Planespotters.net notes that the jet sits at Doha Hamad International Airport in an all-white livery marked with ‘training’ titles. CH-Aviation elaborates on this, saying that it has been “retained by the airline for crew training purposes.”
A7-AGB: Withdrawn from use at the end of March 2019 and fully retired in May 2019, this jet has a more interesting fate. After being stored at Enschede Airport Twente in the Netherlands, it was broken up at the same airport. “But what’s interesting about an aircraft being broken up?” you ask? The photo below explains it clearly:
“Qatar Airways is now also part of the Aviationtag fleet with its former Airbus A340-600 registered as A7-AGB. The A340 was built by Airbus in 2006 with the MSN 715 and test registration F-WWCR before being delivered to Doha. Qatar Airways christened the plane ‘Ras Dukhan.’” -Aviationtag.com
A7-AGC: After being withdrawn from use at the end of April 2019, AGC was quickly snapped up by global private investment firm Castlelake. Re-registered as 2-AGCC, the jet was stored at Kemble (Cotswold) Airport in Gloucestershire, UK, as early as June 2019.
“Castlelake is an experienced investor in aircraft and aviation assets, and offers tailored financing, leasing and servicing solutions. We focus on commercial aircraft and engines and aviation secured debt.” -Casltelake website
While photos exist of the aircraft at Cotswold Airport (GBA), stripped of its Qatar Airways markings, it doesn’t look like it was used very much, if at all. The aircraft was broken up at GBA quite recently, in November 2020.
A7-AGD: This jet has a nearly identical fate as AGC. While it also went to Castlelake and was stored and broken up, the dates of these events are slightly different. The aircraft was withdrawn from use just a few days after AGC and was stored at Cotswold Airport from July 2019. Re-registered as 2-AGDD, it was then broken up in March of 2020.
While Qatar Airways has said goodbye to its four A340s, the carrier still operates some of the largest passenger aircraft on the market- namely the A380, 777-200, and -300, as well as the A350-900 and -1000.
Did you ever have the opportunity to fly on Qatar Airways’ A340-600s? Please share your experiences with us in the comments.