A Lufthansa Airbus A340-300 flying from Frankfurt to Bangkok was forced to return to the airport after the crew received an indication that a cargo door was open. The aircraft circled while dumping fuel and landed safely back in Frankfurt around two hours later.

Lufthansa A340 suffers cargo door warning

On March 14th, Lufthansa Flight LH-772 took off from Frankfurt (FRA) at 22:22 local time en route to Bangkok (BKK). However, the crew noticed an open cargo door indication during the initial climb.

The crew continued to climb and leveled out at FL110 before proceeding to dump fuel. The aircraft later climbed to FL130 and FL150 while continuing to dump fuel.

lufthansa flight
The flight dumped fuel before a safe landing in Frankfurt. Photo: FlightRadar24.com

After around two hours in the air, the Airbus A340-300 touched down safely at Frankfurt Airport on runway 07C. The affected aircraft remained on the ground for over 30 hours after the incident.

Lufthansa's D-AIGS

The affected aircraft was one of Lufthansa's Airbus A340-300s. Registered as D-AIGS, the A340 is over 22 years old and has spent its entire life in the Lufthansa fleet.

D-AIGS was delivered to Lufthansa in October 1999 and is equipped with four CFM56 engines. In terms of seating, the aircraft offers 30 lie-flat seats in business class, 221 in economy and 28 in premium economy.

The affected A340-300 is over 22 years old and looks destined for retirement soon. Photo: Gerard van der Schaaf via Wikimedia Commons

Data from FlightRadar24.com shows that D-AIGS was back in service less than 48 hours after the incident. The Airbus A340 was back on long-haul duties, operating Flight LH-600 from Frankfurt to Tehran, Iran, on March 16th.

The plane operated the return journey from Tehran and is scheduled to fly across the Atlantic from Frankfurt to Bogotá, Colombia on March 17th.

According to ch-aviation, D-AIGS has clocked in over 100,000 flight hours as of December 31st, 2021. Given its age, the aircraft has an estimated market value of $2.23 million.

The A340 fleet

Despite many airlines slowly phasing out their quadjets in favor of more-efficient twinjets, Lufthansa has stuck by its trusty A340-300s. The German carrier continued to fly its A340-300s through most of the pandemic.

Lufthansa has 17 Airbus A340-300s in its fleet. Photo:TJDarmstadt via Wikimedia Commons

However, Lufthansa's Airbus A340-600s went into storage almost immediately as the pandemic spread. Just last week, the airline dusted off its five A340-600s and operated its first A340-600 passenger flight in almost two years.

As for the A340-300, the airline has 17 of the type but is expected to retire the aging planes in the next couple of years.

Were you onboard Flight LH-772 on March 14th? What do you think about Lufthansa's Airbus A340-300s? Let us know in the comments.

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