The new interior is also being installed on QANTAS' and Northwest's A330s.
This is a press release form Airbus.com about the A340 Enhanced:A340 SET TO STAY AHEAD
02 August 2000
Since the introduction by Airbus of the market-tailored A340 - the first four-engined widebody to enter service for more than twenty years - the world has enjoyed an exceptional level of passenger comfort and operating efficiency in long-range flying. Ensuring that the A340 continues to provide the optimal airline solution for evolving market requirements, an enhanced A340 is being developed to provide still further improvements in standards of comfort, operating efficiency and design range. Some of the features in development for the A340-500/600 will be extended to the A340-300 together with an advanced version of the CFM56-5C4 powerplant.
The upgraded powerplant, the CFM56-5C Enhanced, is based on an engine which has already accumulated over 2.4 million hours powering Airbus’ best-selling A320 Family aircraft and over six million service hours in total. The quietest in its class, this enhanced engine will offer significant maintenance cost savings, increased reliability and longer life. Availability of the first engines for flight test is slated for autumn 2002 with first aircraft deliveries currently planned following certification in spring 2003.
As a further development, Airbus will progressively extend new design features to the A340-300, following their introduction and proving on the A340-500/600 programme. LCD (liquid crystal display) flight-deck displays, fly-by-wire rudder actuation and additional crew rest options are just some of the features identified so far. In addition, new cabin features will complement the already high quality comfort standards of the existing aircraft, providing an even more spacious, comfortable and appealing environment for passengers and crew.
The popularity of the A340 is strongly borne out by its phenomenal use among operators. The A340 in-service fleet is currently achieving an average daily utilisation of more than 12 hours: the highest utilisation of any aircraft flying today. The A340 enjoys a higher utilisation, on average, than the largest airliner currently flying, as well as some 28 per cent higher than its twin-engined competitor.
In addition, the A340 features the quietest cabin in the sky – an essential element of comfort for passengers flying long distances – as well as the most user-friendly seating features which ensure that all First and Business Class travellers obtain an aisle or window seat. The A340 also provides a spacious eight-abreast layout in Economy Class, so no passenger is more than one seat away from an aisle. For passengers the A330/A340 Family is the most popular in its class, with 89 per cent or more of business travellers preferring to fly in a cabin without a middle seat, according to three recent independent surveys by IATA, arnold + bolingbroke and MORI. This latest survey, undertaken by UK-based market research company MORI in January, showed that the A340 is preferred for its seating and engine configuration by a five to one factor over its closest competitor.
Airbus and CFM International are committed to ensuring that the A340-300 continues to set the standards, offering the highest degree of operational flexibility and economy combined with unmatched passenger comfort. With more range, lower fuel burn and lower maintenance and operating costs, the enhanced A340-300 is set to reinforce its advantage over competing aircraft and further consolidate its lead in the market.