The era of A340s is drawing to its end as airlines have started phasing out the older widebody as a result of growing fuel prices. Philippine Airlines (PAL) was the last operator of the aircraft on the Asian market with intention to keep four of its planes in operation until 2019.
PAL decided to retire its last four A340s in order to be more competitive on the market and to deploy a younger fleet with more fuel-efficient aircraft that also enhances the passenger experience. As a result, its last A340 scheduled flight was performed on September 30 between Vancouver and Manila.
The other Asian operators that ceased using the A340 were Air China, AirAsia X, China Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Thai Airways, airblue, Hainan Airlines, Singapore Airlines, and SriLankan Airlines.
At present, PAL operates one of the youngest widebody fleets. It consists of 28 aircraft – 15 A330-300s, 3 A350-900s, and 10 777-300ERs. The average age of the fleet is 4 years with the oldest plane being nine years old. 25 out of the 28 widebodies are less than six years old.
PAL also expects to grow its widebody fleet by adding three more A350-900s that it has on order with Airbus. One of the aircraft is expected by the end of 2018, while the rest should be delivered in the first half of 2019.