Thai Airways International (THAI) recently admitted that it is really struggling to sell off their decommissioned Airbus A340 aircraft as they are quite unpopular in the rather limited used plane-market. There are currently ten aircrafts of this particular model, purchased mainly between 2002 and 2003, now left to rot at both Don Muang airport and U-Tapao airport. The use of these aircrafts caused annual losses of 3 to 5 billion THB for THAI, which is the absolute main reason they had to be grounded.
Back when they were purchased, the cost of jet fuel was low and they were used to compete on Intercontinental routes. THAI were not the only airline operating A340 with the same dilemma, when the cost of jet fuel increased dramatically. This aircraft type could eventually not be operated on any route with profit. This is therefore the reason the second hand market for this type is also extremly small or non-excistent.
In May of 2016, the Royal Thai Airforce acquired one of the 10 aircrafts, an A340-500, from Thai Airways International as part of a THB1.745 billion (USD49.18 million) package.
In a disclosure to the Bangkok bourse, the carrier said that aside from HS-TLC (cn 698), the deal included an extra Trent 553-61 motor, aircraft spares and paint. In addition, Thai will provide the Air Force with the necessary mechanics, pilots and cabin crew training needed to operate the aircraft. Payments were as per contract to be made in nine tranches beginning June 2016 and running through to September 2017.
THAI had been trying to offload its parked, redundant A340’s fleets as part of a turnaround programme. But, despite its best efforts, few buyers were willing to pay the prices requested.
In October 2013, UK consultancy firm, AvCon Worldwide, attempted to acquire one of the aircraft on behalf of Saudi Arabia's Prince Faisal al-Saud. The bid submitted - USD23.5million - was, however, rejected as being too low.
I may not be able to pay much, but I would be more than happy to personally take over and convert one of them into my own private residence somewhere in Thailand.