Aircraft By Type

Aircraft Make & Model:
Airbus A310-200
3,925 statute miles
528 mph
196 passengers (12 First, 30 Business, 154 Economy)
153 ft., 1 in.
144 ft.
51 ft., 10 in.
2 Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7R4EI
HP or Thrust:
100,00 lbs.
No. flown by DL:
30 total: 7 Model -200 (-221, -222), 24 Model -300; (-304, -324, -324F, -325, -325/ET)
Transatlantic routes, primarily New York-JFK to Europe, and some longer domestic routes.
First Delivery:
Spring 1985 to Pan Am
First Scheduled Service:
May 28, 1985 with Pan Am, first U.S. airline to fly the A310; November 1, 1991 with Delta
Reason Aquired:
Widebody, medium-to-long range aircraft to operate over former Pan Am transatlantic routes acquired on November 1, 1991.
Last Retirement:
Late 1995
Reason Disposed:
Simplify fleet for better efficiency and cost-savings.

Narrative:  Airbus A310 1991-1995

Technical Advances
Airbus introduced electronic flight instrument displays in the A310 flight deck that replaced many of the traditional analogue dials on the main instrument panel. The A310 "glass cockpit" used six computer-driven cathode ray tube displays to show centralized flight and navigation information and monitoring and warning data.

With the A310-200, Airbus also introduced the use of lighter-weight carbon fiber reinforced plastic on secondary structures such as spoilers, airbrakes and rudder (after an earlier trial on the A300).

The -300 model had an increased maximum take-off weight (337,300 lbs) and an increase in range (4,830 statute miles), provided by additional center and horizontal stabilizer fuel tanks. On the -300, Airbus first used composites on primary structures and added drag-reducing wing-tip devices that improved fuel efficiency.

A310s from Pan Am

In 1991, Delta acquired transatlantic routes; hub operations at New York-JFK and Frankfurt, Germany; and Shuttle from a bankrupt Pan Am and became a major provider of service across the Atlantic. The transaction included lease and purchase agreements for 45 aircraft, including 21 Airbus A310s from Pan Am—the first Airbus aircraft to join the Delta fleet:

  • 7 Airbus A310-200 (3 owned, 4 leased)
  • 14 Airbus A310-300 (all leased, powered with Pratt & Whitney PW4152 engines)

Delta did not fly the A310s for very long. During a difficult economic period, the airline was forced to reduce service on its new transatlantic routes and take significant steps to lower overall operating costs. At the time, most of Delta's fleet were Boeing and McDonnell Douglas aircraft.

In 1993, Delta retired nine of the former Pan Am planes and replaced them with new A310-300s leased from Airbus and returned the remaining 12 former Pan Am A310s to Airbus. The leased Airbus A310s exited the fleet in late 1995, and were replaced by Boeing 767-300s.

More Information


  • airbus_A310_paa
  • airbus_a310
  • Pan Am route acquisition ceremony 1991
  • A310 Delta Landing JFK
  • Pan Am Airbus A310 Flight PA 047 flying over Iceland 1990
  • PANAM A310 and Concorde at Filton