Airbus’s first aircraft, the A300, is still going strong 40 years after entering service.
Air France placed the first A300B into commercial service four decades ago on May 12 1974. Airbus would go on to build some 878 A300s – the world’s first widebody twin airliner – through until mid-2007, and says more than 400 of these remain in service today with 65 operators.
The A300 was the first Airbus to be flown by a local carrier, when Trans-Australia Airlines took delivery of VH-TAA at Tullamarine airport on July 13 1981. TAA, which later became Australian Airlines and then Qantas, operated up to five A300B4s in the 1980s and 1990s. Further A300s were operated in Australia by the short-lived Compass Airlines, which operated four A300-600Rs in 1990-1991.
“The success of that program and the philosophy to innovate has been the cornerstone of Airbus’s ongoing success story,” Airbus said in a statement.