Home Classic Airliners 11 Classic Airbus A310 Operators

11 Classic Airbus A310 Operators

by Matt Falcus

Following the success of the A300, Airbus went on to develop a shorter version which introduced a two-man crew for the first time on a wide-body jet.

It was launched in 1982, and first flew in 1983.

There were 255 Airbus A310s built before production stopped in 1998, and it flew with airlines around the world. Here are just some of the close classic A310 operators.



Michel Gilliand (GFDL 1.2 <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/fdl-1.2.html> or GFDL 1.2 <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/fdl-1.2.html>), via Wikimedia Commons

The launch customer for the Airbus A310 was Swissair, who took delivery of their first aircraft in April 1983.


Singapore Airlines

75ag - Singapore Airlines Airbus A310-324; 9V-STS@CNS;06.10.1999

You might forget that the large carrier we know today once had smaller jets like the Boeing 727, 737, 757, Airbus A300 and A310 in its fleet.


Cyprus Airways

Eduard Marmet, CC BY-SA 3.0 <http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/>, via Wikimedia Commons

The author’s first wide-body flight was on a Cyprus Airways A310 in 1986. The airline used its small fleet to fly to European hubs, and on many leisure and charter flights bringing holidaymakers to the island.



Eduard Marmet, CC BY-SA 3.0 <http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/>, via Wikimedia Commons

The national carrier of Belgium operated seven of the A310-300 models between 1984-1997.


Pan Am

Pan Am Airbus A310-200; N804PA@FRA, August 1985

Pan Am looked to modernise its fleet with the addition of Airbus A310s. Both -200 and -300 models were operated, with the latter flying on transatlantic routes.

The fleet would be taken over by Delta when it purchased Pan Am Atlantic routes. Many of the aircraft later became freighters.



Konstantin von Wedelstaedt (GFDL 1.2 <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/fdl-1.2.html> or GFDL 1.2 <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/fdl-1.2.html>), via Wikimedia Commons

Emirates’ first foray into widebody airliners in its early days was with Airbus A300 and A310 aircraft.

These could be seen flying from Dubai to destinations in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.



Ralf Manteufel (GFDL 1.2 <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/fdl-1.2.html> or GFDL 1.2 <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/fdl-1.2.html>), via Wikimedia Commons

In 1988 East German carrier looked to the West for the first time and ordered the Airbus A310 for its long-haul services. To date it had only operated Soviet airliner types, like the Ilyushin Il-62.

Three A310s were used on flights to places like Cuba. The airline closed down not long after the reunification of Germany in the early 1990s.



KLM Royal Dutch Airlines used Airbus A310s, like many other European operators, on trunk routes to major hubs. It had 11 of the earlier A310-200 models, which were sold on in the mid-1990s.


TAP Air Portugal

TAP Airbus A310; CS-TEX@ZRH;25.05.1995

TAP’s fleet of eight A310-300s were a common sight at both European and North American airports.

The range an capacity of the type made it perfect for the hop across the Atlantic, or for trunk routes to destinations such as London Heathrow.

The last was sold on in 2008.


Turkish Airlines

TC-JDA_A313_Turkish Airlines_-

Turkish had a relatively large fleet of A310s, consisting mostly of the -200 model, but with four -300s arriving later.

They were used on key routes within Europe and the Middle East, and lasted with the airline until the last was sold in 2009.



A Wardair Airbus A310-300 at Manchester. Photo (c) Martyn Cartledge

Finally, many will remember this Canadian charter and scheduled airline which was a common sight in Europe, the Caribbean and United States during the 1970s and 80s.

Its first A310-300 arrived in 1987, and in all twelve of the type were delivered. However, Wardair was on a downward spiral and the airline closed down in 1990 after a short spell operating the A310.


Did you fly on an Airbus A310? Leave a comment below!


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dean peter rusell October 17, 2022 - 6:54 pm

Hi, did not Lufthansa, have a fleet of A310????

Matt Falcus October 19, 2022 - 9:53 am

Hi Dean, yes they did. There have been over 100 A310 operators in total.

Martin Dennett October 19, 2022 - 10:50 am

Hi Matt, one small amendment. The first flight was 3rd April 1982 and entered service the year after.

MERVYN CROWE October 19, 2022 - 11:26 am

Sadly only ever had one A310 flight, 26/10/83 LUFTHANSA D-AICH out of Melbourne on demo to ANSETT and QANTAS. This was the first A310 to visit Australia.. Have had many A300 flights, first one was 05/07/79 AIR FRANCE F-GBEA CDG/LHR.
Over the years have photographed many civil and military A310s, great airliner indeed

Andrew Clarke October 19, 2022 - 12:22 pm

Great article Matt. Brings back great memories of spotting at Heathrow and Frankfurt.

Denis October 19, 2022 - 1:40 pm

Hi Matt, for Sabena; the photo is a -200 (no winglet). But i don’t not remember 7 in their fleet. OO-SCA, OO-SCB and the -300 OO-SCC. Unless may be short term lease.

Trevor Hanko October 19, 2022 - 2:00 pm

Flew on an A310 with Air Transat from Orlando to Toronto just before the type was retired. Also on Wardair from Toronto to Winnipeg just before they were merged with Canadian Pacific. Very comfortable from what I remember. I believe some of the Wardair planes went on to the Canadian Armed Forces where they continue to fly today.

Mark Taylor October 20, 2022 - 5:20 am

Hi Matt

Thanks for sharing. Another carrier that I remember operating the A310 was Air Transat.



Richard Dale Kenyon October 20, 2022 - 7:34 pm

I flew on an Air France A310 CDG-PHL. Always loved to see this aircraft.

Richard Kenyon October 20, 2022 - 7:35 pm

I flew on an Air France A310 CDG-PHL. Always loved to see this aircraft.


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