The one and only Airbus Industrie A340-8000, completed in the middle of last year, faces an uncertain future because of the financial crisis surrounding controversial Brunei Prince Jefri, who placed the launch order.

The four-engined jet, an ultra-long-range derivative of the A340-200, has been parked at Berlin's Schönefeld Airfield for several months, under the care of Lufthansa Technik. The VIP interior has not been fitted, fuelling speculation that its Brunei owner has put it up for sale.

The -8000, which was launched in 1995, features the 275t maximum take-off weight of the current high gross-weight A340-300, and auxiliary fuel tanks providing a range of 14,800km (8,000nm)with 239 passengers. No airline orders have been announced, and Airbus is now concentrating on the ultra-long range A340-500, which can carry 313 passengers over 15,750km.

Source: Flight International