Mall of America

Published on Friday, May 29, 2009

Airbus celebrates anniversary of first aircraft programme

TOULOUSE - Airbus is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Franco-German agreement which launched its first ever aircraft programme, the A300.

On May 29, 1969, the French Minister of Transport, Jean Chamant and the German Minister of Economic Affairs, Karl Schiller, signed an agreement for the joint-development of the A300 aircraft, a first European twin-aisle twin-engine jet for medium-haul air travel.

This historic event took place during the Paris Air Show at Le Bourget.

Says Tom Enders, Airbus president and CEO, “Forty years ago, the commercial jet aircraft market was entirely dominated by the US industry. Giving the go-ahead for the A300 was a bold strategic decision.”

Dubbed “the profit machine” the A300 was the first twin-aisle twin-engine short/medium haul aircraft, which offered for the first time all the amenities and assets of long range aircraft such as a wide-body comfort, low noise levels, low fuel consumption and low operating costs.

Based on the successful idea, Airbus developed its first family of aircraft, the A300/A310 and their respective freighter derivatives.

The A300/A310 family set new standards that were adopted on all modern civil aircraft later on.

In total, Airbus built 822 A300/A310 Family aircraft, while the original business case only foresaw 300 aircraft to be built.

The A300 was delivered to more than 80 customers. Over the years, these aircraft have flown more than 30 million flight-hours and have taken off more than 15 million times.

Today, more than 620 aircraft are still in operation.

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