MIAMI – The last commercial Airbus A340 with Aerolineas Argentinas (AR) completed its last commercial flight for the airline. Flight AR1133 took off from the Minister Pistarini International Airport to Madrid, Spain, marking the end of the aircraft’s service in the country.

The nostalgic return flight, AR1133, will end the four-engine commercial operations in AR. The LV-FPU, an A340-313, has 30 seats in Club Condor and 261 in Club Economy.

The progression of the long-distance twin-engines put the four-engine aircraft in check for some time, but AR executives delayed the A340 service exit until 2020.

Aerolineas Argentinas offers daily flights to Buenos Aires with its A340-313X. PHOTO: AUTHOR.

A340’s emblematic run for AR

The history of the A340 in AR begins in June 1999, when the A340-200 LV-ZPJ and LV-ZPO arrived in the country within a few days apart. Both aircraft came to AR to replace the Boeing 747. These A340s leave a longlasting legacy: 20+ years in service fo AR, exceeding any forecast.

According to the airline, AR’s fleet currently consists of 57 aircraft, including 11 Airbus 340, Airbus 330-200, 26 Boeing 737-700 / 800 and 20 Embraer 190. AR’s fleet of 11 A340s has an average age of around 22.5 years, which is long enough for the type to be retired.

AR operates 35 domestic flights and flies to 20 international points in the Americas, Europe, and the South Pacific.

Photo: Aldo Bidini

It is worth noting that AR took delivery of its first Boeing 737 MAX 8 in late 2017, becoming the first Latin American carrier to receive the then best-selling single-aisle family of aircraft.

The Argentinean MAX’s maiden flight was operated on a domestic route between Buenos Aires and Mendoza.

AR, founded in 1950, is the main passenger airline in Argentina and its base of operations is in Buenos Aires, at the Jorge Newbery Airfield and Ezeiza International Airport.

Article written by Helwing Villamizar