End of an era: Farewell to the A340

End of an era: Farewell to the A340

The A340 had a major role in the history of Finnair as it opened up the growth to Asia. Now we have given up all the seven A340-300 airplanes that we operated while the A350 aircraft that replaced them have been delivered and taken into use in our scheduled traffic. As you might already know, Finnair has ordered a total of 19 new Airbus A350 XWB aircraft from Airbus, which we have now received a total of 11. Originally, the first A350 aircraft was meant to join the Finnair fleet already in the spring of 2012, but the deliveries were however delayed, because Airbus decided to make changes to the aircraft model and the delay was temporarily replaced by A340 aircraft.

The A340 is a four-engine wide-body aircraft that was designed above all for long routes. The A340 carries a larger load than its twin-engine sister aircraft A330, but also consumes more fuel.

Finnair’s last A340 aircraft (LQE) swayed its white wings as a goodbye when it took off towards its new home Tarbes and Airbus’s ownership. A thankyou celebration for the employees was held after the signing of the sales contract on Friday, 29 September at the hangar 7. In addition to the thankyous and farewells, the end of this historic era and the success of the entire huge project were celebrated at the hangar.

The redelivery of an aircraft is the result of a long process (the A340 redelivery project lasted for a total of 3 years), embedded with countless hours of work, people and perseverance in both Technical Operations as well as other parts of the organization. The preparation for the redelivery of one plane takes approximately one calendar year. Working months get consumed from 20 to 45 depending on aircraft types and on operating hours.

Hundreds of things have to be decided and prepared to make the huge jigsaw puzzle possible. Parts include among others aircraft maintenance, painting, possible repairs, various tests and inspections, collection of official certificates and documents, and handling of registration issues. Redelivery projects are massive cross-organizational achievements that we can really be proud of.

For example, the LQB redelivery project lasted one year and 7 months. Approximately 70 working months were consumed by the project, and about 100 people from various departments participated, with support from each unit of the company. 1700 discrepancies noted by the buyer were fixed in the redelivery maintenance of the plane, redelivery documents filled 30 cardboard boxes and project workers had about 500 travel days.

The finish of all the redeliveries of the A340 aircraft would not have been possible without working together for a common goal across Finnair. The thanks belong to all Finnair employees who were part of this massive project – without you this would not have been possible!