European airframer Airbus S.A.S. announced the sale of the last two A340-500 aircraft in its inventory, marking an end of the longest range model of its portfolio.
AJW Capital Partners Limited, a worldwide aviation services group based in the UK, has signed a firm contract for the purchase of two Airbus A340-500s aircraft. With this order AJW Capital becomes the newest Airbus aircraft customer. Powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 500 engines the aircraft features a comfortable two-class cabin for maximum passenger appeal. Commercial service will begin with an existing AJW Group customer early 2013.defaulted on taking delivery of the entire order. The A340s with their ultra-luxurious cabin product were meant to be the flagships of the fleet with these two airframes originally allocated registration numbers VT-VJA and VT-VJB. Three aircraft from the order were sold by Airbus to Nigerian carrier Arik Air.
The four engined A340 series in general, and the A340-500 in particular was the least profitable aircraft for Airbus. With the rising costs of fuel, the ultra-long-haul (ULH) flights, the 282 seat A340-500, was designed for, no longer were viable. Airbus has been buying back A340s from airlines to help sales of the more efficient twin-engined sister, the A330, one of the most profitable aircraft for Airbus.
The two A340-500s appear to be destined to AZAL Azerbaijan Airlines with two Embraer 170s of another failed Indian airline, Paramount Airways. Swiss industry news website, ch-aviation, reports
AZAL has also acquired two ex-Paramount Airways (India) EMB-170s (c/n 17000002 and c/n 17000005) from Embraer subsidiary ECC Leasing that will already join the fleet in spring of next year. In other news, AZAL plans to add two A340-500s (c/n 886 and c/n 894) to its fleet for long-haul services that were originally ordered by Kingfisher Airlines, and then never delivered.We opine that Azal will put these aircraft on a Baku-New York route.