Pierre Sparaco: Airbus : La véritable histoire (Privat) No rating

The story of the first Airbus sold to the US is nuts.

Originally, Western Airlines in the US, based in LA, was going to order an Airbus in 1975. But shortly after announcing their intent to purchase an A300B1, the airline was bullied into choosing American aircrafts, and not European ones.

For Airbus to be able to get in the protective US market, they had to create a deal that was too good to be true. They offered Eastern Airlines 4 "trial" aircrafts for 6 months. The airline would only paying for training and operational fees.

It worked. It led to an order for 23 aircrafts the next year, and options for many more. Airbus cracked the US market.