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Description: The Airbus A340 is a four-engine, wide-body, non-stop long/ultra-long range airliner capable of carrying between 240 and 380 passengers over a range of up to 16,000 kilometers (8,600 nautical miles). It provides a high degree of comfort thanks to its spacious layout. The first ever A340 airliner, an A340-300 model, entered service in 1993.
Externally, the A340 is similar to the Airbus A330 excepting for the number of engines because both were developed simultaneously by Airbus to meet the requirements of long range and ultra-long range commercial aviation in the 200- to 400-seat category. The A330/340 family features optimized performance and design for lower operating costs. It can be powered by Rolls Royce's Trent 500 (A340-500 and A340-600), or CFMI's CFM56-5C (A340-200 and A340-300) engines. In addition to its seating capacity, the A340 airliner can transport cargo (pallets or/and containers) thanks to its voluminous underfloor holds.
The Airbus A340-600 and the A340-500 were launched as additional models of the A340 family featuring non-stop ultra-long range. The A340-500 is powered by four Rolls Royce's Trent 500 engines which enable to fly over a range of 13,900 kilometers with a seating capacity of 380 passengers in a three-class cabin layout. The first Airbus A340-600 entered service in 2002. The A340-600 evolved from the -300 model having a stretched fuselage over the -300 and -500 models and the higher seating capacity and comfort of the A330/340 family of airliners.
On April 14, 2006 Airbus announced the achievement of flight certification for the 380 tons A340-600 variant from European Aviation and Safety Agency (EASA). This variant joins A380 technology and latest Rolls Royce Trent 500 engine developments to achieve a 380-passenger seating capacity and a maximum range of 7,900 nautical miles. First aircraft deliveries were scheduled for summer 2006 to Qatar Airways.
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