While aircraft manufacturers are always promoting the phrase “best-selling aircraft” in the marketing of their most popular jets, they rarely want to draw attention to their “worst sellers”.
The Airbus A318 a.k.a. the “baby bus”.
At a length of just 31.4 meters, the A318 is the smallest member of the single-aisle Airbus family.
The A318 amassed a measly 80 orders, operating with airlines such as Air France, British Airways, and Romania’s Tarom. In comparison, the A319 had accumulated orders for nearly 1500 jets, and the A320, over 4700.
Besides its 10% range increase over the A320, the A318’s biggest selling feature was its commonality with other A320 family jets (A319, A320, and A321). This would allow for much more streamlined crew training and maintenance.
Ultimately, its downfall largely came from how international regulators classified the A318. Although the plane maker hoped to make the A318 a regional jet alternative, regulations in both the US and Europe placed it in the same class as larger aircraft. Consequently, its cost-to-passenger ratio suffered when calculating landing fees and other weight-related charges.