Lufthansa (LH, Frankfurt Int'l) has announced it will reactivate part of its mothballed A340-600 fleet in 2022 due to a recovery in premium demand, which the first-class-equipped quadjets are well suited to.

The five Airbus aircraft will be based out of Munich and are likely to continue operating through at least 2023 when they will start being replaced by A350-900s. The German flag carrier said the aircraft would operate predominantly to North America and Asia, without identifying specific routes.

In a response to ch-aviation's question, the carrier's spokesperson clarified that the aircraft will be reactivated in the Summer 2022 season.

The ch-aviation fleets history module shows that Lufthansa has operated twenty-four A340-600s throughout its history, starting with the delivery of D-AIHB (msn 517) in November 2003. The first seven units were retired between 2016 and 2018, leaving 17 in Lufthansa's fleet in March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic began and largely grounded the type. In September 2020, the carrier said the A340-600s were unlikely ever to re-enter service.

Currently, all 17 of the jets are stored in Teruel. Lufthansa did not identify the five units to be reactivated. It said that the remaining 12 aircraft would remain available for sale. According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, the five A340-600s not currently listed for sale are D-AIHI (msn 569), D-AIHP (msn 771), D-AIHQ (msn 790), D-AIHU (msn 848), and D-AIHV (msn 897).

The A340s are outfitted for up to 281 passengers, including eight in first class, 56 in business, 28 in premium economy, and 189 in economy.

Lufthansa is thus set to rejoin the small coterie of A340-600 operators, which currently comprises just two airlines: Iran's Mahan Air and Malta's Maleth-Aero, each with four operational aircraft.

Besides the -600s, Lufthansa also operates seventeen A340-300s.

Editorial Comment: Article updates with the details of the reactivation timeline. - 28.06.2021 - 11:07 UTC