Airbus' latest order and delivery figures show that Virgin Atlantic has cancelled six of the A340-600 aircraft it had on order.

Virgin Atlantic firmed its previously-disclosed order for six Airbus A330-300s on 30 December.

But the airframer's monthly update, released during a briefing in Seville yesterday, shows that Virgin Atlantic's total A340-600 order has, at the same time, been cut from 20 to 14.

All 14 of the remaining aircraft have already been delivered. Virgin deferred delivery of the other six three years ago.

Virgin Red A340-600 W445

It ordered the A330-300s, which will be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 700s, to secure interim lift before arrival of its Boeing 787s.

Cancellation of the Virgin A340-600s follows Etihad Airways' decision this year not to replace one of the same type written off in a pre-delivery testing accident at Toulouse.

Airbus' sole order for the A340 this year - a single -500 for a private customer - was countered by an identical reduction in the number of -500s bound for Kingfisher Airlines.

It leaves Airbus with a net deficit for 2009 of seven aircraft across the entire A340 range.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news