The last A300 to leave the Airbus Final Assembly Line, an A300 Freighter, was delivered to FedEx on 12th of July 2007. Over the life of the programme a total of 821 A300/A310 have been ordered and to date there are more than 630 A300s and A310s in service with about 80 operators. Airbus? long-term fleet support programme will continue to enable their operation until the very last aircraft is retired from service, with half of the current fleet expected still to be in service beyond 2025.
With more than 120 A300s and A310s aircraft currently in service, FedEx is a long-standing operator and the largest customer for these aircraft types.
The Airbus A300, launched in May 1969 and entering service with Air France in May 1974, was the very first wide-body, twin-engine aircraft ever brought to the market. It set totally new standards in the industry. The innovative two-man glass cockpit was implemented on the A310, launched in July 1978 and entering service in April 1983 with Lufthansa and Swissair.
"Time has proven to us that the A300s and A310s were excellent choices for our fleet," said Jim Parker, senior vice president of air operations at FedEx Express. "They have given us a great return on investment and proven to be reliable, all of which increases our ability to serve our customers. We look forward to continuing our longstanding and important relationship with Airbus, and will continue to evaluate new developments in the Airbus product range as they become available."
?Delivering the last A300 is an emotional moment and a natural evolution in the Airbus Family,? added Charles Champion, Airbus Executive Vice President Customer Services. ?We are proud to be handing over this last A300 to such a long-time customer and partner, as FedEx is a true reference in the air cargo market. The global Airbus team will ensure continued long-term support for this great aircraft, which will see reliable service for many, many years, as we further develop our excellent relations with FedEx.?
Responding to the future cargo market needs for more efficient aircraft with more range, more capacity as well as lower operational costs, Airbus launched the new A330-200F freighter in January this year. Only 6 months after the launch, the A330-200F is already experiencing great demand in the cargo market with a total of 67 orders and commitments from seven customers to date. Airbus anticipates a demand for over 1600 freighters in the mid-sized freighter category during the next 20 years.
Airbus is an EADS company.