This month’s A380 multi-city tour of Latin America comes nearly 40 years after the milestone visit by another revolutionary Airbus jetliner– the no. 1 A300, which made stopovers in Brazil, Venezuela and Mexico during September-October 1973.
Much has changed in the decades between these two visits. When the A300 was demonstrated for the first time in Latin America, Airbus had received initial orders for the aircraft from European airlines, and was looking to build an international customer base for the company’s first-ever jetliner. Today, Airbus has more than 11,500 orders for its complete family of single-aisle and widebody commercial aircraft from clients around the world – including numerous airlines in the Latin American region.
For the A380’s current tour, the 21st century Airbus flagship arrived on 21 March in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and will perform pilot/demonstration flights in Brazil before continuing to Santiago de Chile for its participation in the FIDAE 2012 air show. The jetliner also will visit Buenos Aires, Argentina, followed by its return to Airbus’ headquarters in Toulouse, France on 31 March.
These stopovers will demonstrate the A380’s capability to operate from the region’s airports and also provide the opportunity for Latin American airline executives, pilots and other personnel to see the double-deck aircraft in action.
During the no. 1 A300’s Latin American visit in 1973, the goals were much the same – with the aircraft drawing thousands of interested professional and public visitors during its presence at Brazil’s Sao Paulo International Aerospace Show, and stopovers at Brasilia, Caracas, and Mexico City.