12 AUGUST 2013
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AirAsia’s Indonesian wing has become the recipient of the 8,000th Airbus, an A320.
In 1972, the original A300 made its maiden flight entering service with Air France in 1974. In total 816 A300/A310s were built with about half still in service. However it was the launch of the A320 in 1981 that guaranteed the status of Airbus as a major player in the aircraft market – the aircraft had over 400 orders before it first flew, compared to 15 for the A300.
Not everything Airbus has built has been a success. The small A318 has sold in very small numbers (79), the A340 with its four engines is the aircraft everyone wants to get out of, and whilst the A380 is probably the nicest aircraft to fly in these days, it still has to be proved sales-wise. Boeing has one plant to produce the 737 in similar numbers to the four that Airbus will have by 2015 for the A320 series.
At the present time there are around 7,350 Airbus aircraft in service and the forward order book includes 682 A350 and 2,350 for the advanced A320 Neo series. www.airbus.com
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