Photos of the Week: Foreign Visitor

This Airbus model is a rare sight at U.S. airports

By BlueSkyStaff

Published March 25, 2024

Read Time: 2 mins


When Airbus first started delivering the A340-600 around the turn of the millennium, the company took sizable orders from major international carriers like Lufthansa and Virgin Atlantic, among others.

But U.S. airlines were nowhere to be found on the initial buyers list. Even now, no domestic airline has an A340-600 in operation.

There are lots of possible reasons for this; airline fleet management is an art and a science, and an overwhelming number of factors go into a carrier’s decision-making when it comes to adding new models to its business.

Whatever the reason, most Americans will likely never see an A340 if they don’t leave the country and take a flight on Conviasa, Kam Air, Mahan Air or other smaller foreign carriers.

However, if you are at a U.S. airport with international service offered by Lufthansa, you may catch a glimpse of this elusive bird. Per, Lufthansa currently boasts the largest number of A340-600s in its fleet (10) and uses them fairly often on transatlantic routes linking the U.S. to Europe.

For example, this A340-600 caught by Matthew Swetoha at Charlotte Douglas International Airport has recently been switching between shuttling passengers from New York and Miami to Munich. (If it looks like a really long jet, it is — for about eight years, it was the longest commercial aircraft in the world, finally topped by Boeing’s 747-8 in 2010.)

Luckily, it’s much easier to catch a beautiful sunset at a U.S. airport. Michelle Henney shared with us this beautiful dawn shot taken recently Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas.

Thanks, Matthew and Michelle!

Our readers continue to pass along shots of unique aircraft, international airports, historical events, gorgeous views and even family vacation photos for this feature. We love them! Keep them coming — you can click here for submission guidelines.

A sunset at Las Vegas Harry Reid International Airport. (Photo submitted by Michelle Henney)

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