Airbus has today (12 July) delivered to US freight carrier FedEx, the last A300 model from the airframer’s production line, completing a programme which has covered orders for 561 aircraft.
Last year the company said it would close its A300 and A310 production lines once the final aircraft, an A300-600F, was delivered. This will mark the first time that Airbus has discontinued one of its models.
“Time has proven to us that the A300s and A310s were excellent choices for our fleet,” says FedEx senior vice-president of air operations Jim Parker. “They have given us a great return on investment and proven to be reliable, all of which increases our ability to serve our customers.”
The A300 was the airframer’s first product. It first flew in October 1972 and entered service with Air France in May 1974. From the A300 the manufacturer subsequently developed the A310, which first flew in 1982 and began service with Lufthansa and Swissair a year later.
Airbus received orders for 260 A310s, all but five of which were delivered. The company still has this outstanding order for five A310s, from Iraqi Airways, on its books.
Over half of the current operational fleet of some 630 A300s and A310s, says Airbus, is expected still to be in service beyond 2025.