crew by automating the flight engineer's fuctions, an industry first
(a request made by Garuda Indonesia, an idea proposed by Bacharuddin
Jusuf Habibie, which at that time was Indonesia's Minister of Research
It found favour in particular, with Asian airlines. It was snapped up by Japan Air System, Thai Airlines International, Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Garuda, China Airlines, PIA, Indian Airlines, Trans Australia Airlines and many others. As Asia is not restricted by the FAA 60-minutes ruling for twin-engine airliner, Asian airlines used A300s for routes across Bay of Bengal and South China Sea. The Australians used them for domestic transcontinental routes. By 1981, Airbus was growing rapidly, with over 300 aircraft sold and options for 200 more planes for over forty airlines. This fact was not lost to Boeing which responded with the Boeing 767.
The A300 provided Airbus the experience of manufacturing and selling airliners competitively. The basic fuselage of the A300 was later streched (A330 and A340), shrunk (A310), or modified into many derivatives (Airbus Beluga).
Currently, the A300 is reaching the end of its market life and is now mainly sold as a dedicated freighter. The current version is the A300-600R and is rated for 180-min ETOPS.
has enjoyed renewed interest in the secondhand market for conversion