Airbus A340-600 chopped up into coffee tables

The afterlife of a decommissioned airplane can take many forms nowadays.

a large passenger jet flying through a blue sky: Lufthansa Airbus A340-600 beim Flugtraining auf dem Flughafen Leipzig.  Foto: Rolf Bewersdorf   Lufthansa 27.11.2003 031127_A346_11 D-AIHB, Bremerhaven

Some are dismantled and used as parts, others simply end up in aircraft graveyards, while a select few are reinvented as modern restaurants or hotels.

However, Lufthansa has gone for a rather different approach with a retired Airbus A340-600.

The German airline is giving the aircraft, identified by the registration code D-AIHO — a fresh start as a brand new product collection.

Created as part of a collaboration between Lufthansa, traveler loyalty program Miles & More GmbH and Lufthansa Technik, the Lufthansa Upcycling Collection is made from parts of the plane, which was withdrawn after 10 years of service.

Repurposing parts

The process of dismantling the 75-meter long airplane took nearly 10 weeks.

The plane’s slats and side panels have been transformed into coffee tables, while a separate table has been made from two of its windows and a sheet of safety glass.

Four of its other windows were converted into two trendy wall bars, and a further 20 have been made into wall clocks.

Many are one-off items and this is clearly reflected in the prices.

The tables range from $1,550 to $3,300, while the wall bars cost between $1,327 and $1,660.

A keyring made from the plane’s aluminum cladding will set you back $27.

“The special thing about the Lufthansa Upcycling Collection is that something of the aircraft’s spirit can be preserved,” says Sebastian Riedle, spokesperson and managing director of Miles & More GmbH.

Second life

The Lufthansa Upcycling Collection includes a wall bar made from two of the airplane's windows.

“There are so many possibilities to give discarded materials a second life in a different way.”

Airbus’s four-engine A340-600 ultra long-haul aircraft, the world’s second longest passenger airplane, were first introduced nearly 20 years ago, but manufacturing on the A340 series ceased in 2011 to make way for the more fuel efficient A350. Lufthansa was one of the A340’s biggest operators.

The airline’s design team have also made good use of the aircraft’s exterior, creating briefcases and backpacks from business class blankets and headrest covers branded with its now defunct logo, which were “much too valuable to throw away.”

Even the plane’s safety cards have been recycled and used to reinforce the bottom of upcycled wash bags.

It took nearly 10 weeks to dismantle the 75-meter long airplane into pieces small enough to create the Lufthansa Upcycling Collection.

Approximately 92% of the original aircraft, which was the world’s longest passenger aircraft at the time of its launch, was recycled for the project.

Repurposing aircraft parts as quality goods is getting increasingly popular as the airline industry moves towards becoming more eco-friendly.

Airbus released a line of furniture and home accessories made from upcycled aircraft parts via online shop A Piece of Sky earlier this year.

In 2018, luxury watch company Bremont, which makes timepieces for pilots, marked the 50th anniversary of Concorde by launching a limited edition timepiece, the Bremont Supersonic, which incorporated parts of the decommissioned aircraft.

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