Airbus has released spectacular aerial footage of a formation flying display of its current models and French Air Force planes to mark its 50th birthday.

An A220, A320, A330neo, A350 XWB, A380 and transport plane the BelugaXL are seen flying over Toulouse with the Patrouille de France precision aerobatics team.

The Airbus story began in May 29, 1969, with the launch of the Airbus A300 programme.

Toulouse is the manufacturing base of the European consortium which vies with Boeing in the commercial aircraft market.


The A300 aircraft was the first European twin-aisle twin-engine jet for medium-haul air travel.

Airbus chief executive Guillaume Faury said the company had been a showcase of European integration.

''Over five decades, we have brought together civil and defence aviation businesses from throughout the continent.'''

Last year it generated revenues of more than $110 billion and employed a workforce of around 134,000.

The company was in the running to supply Air New Zealand with its next tranche of widebody planes but the airline opted for Boeing Dreamliners instead of the A350 XWB.

Air NZ does fly narrow body A320 and A321 aircraft on domestic and short haul international routes.

The Airbus family of planes fly in formation above France. Photo / Supplied
The Airbus family of planes fly in formation above France. Photo / Supplied

Airbus delivered 162 airliners in the first quarter of this year compared to 121 in the year-prior period.

It plans to deliver 880 to 890 airliners this year.


Earlier this year it announced it would cease production of the biggest passenger plane in the fly past - the A380 - after new orders dried up.

Emirates is the biggest customer for the double decker but when it put a limit on future orders, Airbus said it would end the programme.

Less than 14 years after its maiden flight, barely a decade after it started carrying passengers, the passenger favourite is being mothballed as airlines move to more efficient twin engine fleets.

The A380 is still among the youngest aircraft in the skies, and Airbus will maintain the more than 230 planes currently in service for years to come.