Just to clear a few things up:
The A340-600's operate daily to Narita, Hong Kong and Shanghai. They will always be operated by an A340-600 unless there is some sort of technical problem. The other two (because of the night overlap of the HKG
flight, it means that 4 aircraft are needed for those routes in one time) aircraft will either be operating to Cape Town, Boston or New York. I think they are used on the Cape Town services 3 days a week.
They used to operate daily to Washington so AlitaliaMD11 it wasn't a surprise visit, just a regular near the end of the summer schedule. The A340-600's have also been operated on various other routes, Johannesburg got one, one or two days this summer.
They currently have 6 A340-600's operating (G-VFOX, MEG
, OGE, SHY, ATL
) all from Heathrow.
Gatwick has 5 cancelled order Alitalia aircraft (G-VROM, ROS
, ROY, GAL, LIP
) and an A340-300 comes in either on the night before operation or on the early morning. They are used for operations to Port Harcourt on the coast of Nigeria and the fly on tuesdays and saturdays, not every day.
The two aircraft based at Manchester are ex-Virgin B747-200's now at Air Atlanta, but being leased back to Virgin Atlantic. However because Virgin Atlantic are now operating the MAN
flight year round they may be acquiring the aircraft back or using their own equipment on that route? Airchabum should be able to tell you more on that.
When I was staying in SFO
i saw a CX
A340-600 take off at round 6:00am.