Farnborough Air Show

R.I.P. for Airbus A300/A310

 - November 16, 2006, 9:26 AM

Thirty-five years of A300/A310 manufacturing will come to an end next July, when Airbus hands over the last A300-600 on order. Although it collected orders for 821 examples over the life of the program, the A300/310 series has seen flagging deliveries over the past few years as market demand for newer designs progressively overtook Airbus’ original offerings.

During the past two years around 150 Airbus employees built about one aircraft a month on the A300/A310 final assembly line. Airbus said it will offer new positions to all displaced employees.

Launched in May 1969, the A300 entered service with Air France in May 1974, marking the entry of the industry’s first ever twin-engine widebody. Launched in July 1978, the A310 entered service with Lufthansa and Swissair in April 1983. It marked the introduction of the first two-man cockpit in a widebody, as well as the first application of digital technology and cathode ray tube displays in the cockpit.

More than 650 A300s and A310s still fly for roughly 80 operators. Many passenger models have been converted to freighters. The company expects the two types to remain in service beyond 2025 with the help of its Long Term Fleet Support Program.