Goose:Strange that an aircraft with pretty low utilisation compared with other long haul aircraft as already gone to the scrap yard.
While they weren't long-haul aircraft, it was pretty much the same reasoning behind the scrapping of the ProAir MD-90's at Marana last year.
The three of them were delivered new at the tail-end of 1998, parked less than two years later and finally reduced to tin cans bewteen 2005 and 2006. That's a total airframe life of seven years, never mind the fact that they only spent around 18 months doing what they were actually designed to do; i.e. flying.
It's the same old story - if an airliner is worth more in parts rather than a complete airframe, then there's not much reason for it to be in the air. Same goes for the early-build A320's that Northwest got rid of a couple of years ago; granted, they were around 15 years old and ready for a D-check, but nowadays you kinda expect the average age of an airliner to be more in the region of 20-22 years at least.
The big issue that's standing in the way of this particular A340 is the lack of spares currently available for the older -200 and -300 series aircraft. If AerCap do decide to scrap it, it'll give them a nice little spares pool for their other A340's. Makes good business sense.
Don't forget that this aircraft was also the one that had the landing incident at Heathrow back in 1997 when the port landing gear wouldn't extend fully, resulting in permanent damage being caused to the wing structure around the #2 engine pylon due to the wing becoming load-bearing after the aircraft came to rest.
My hunch is that because of the damage that was sustained, and that BWIA flogged the hell out of the airframe on the Port Of Spain - Heathrow/Manchester flights, it was more cost-effective to part it out rather than put it through a very expensive maintenance check.
Vidi, Vici, Veni. I saw, I conquered, I came.