The A300 programme, launched in May 1969, was initially a Franco-German venture, with the British aircraft industry participating on a private basis. Airbus Industrie, the organisation which was responsible for the management, marketing, sales and product support of the programme, was created in December 1970 as an equal partnership between Aerospatiale of France and Deutsche Airbus GmbH of Germany. The organisation was based at Toulouse, in the South of France, where it remains. Casa of Spain joined in 1971and in 1979 British Aero-space joined as a full partner. The consortium was owned by Aerospatiale of France (37.9 percent), DaimlerChrysler of Germany (37.9 percent), British Aerospace (20 percent) and CASA of Spain (4.2 percent), which are also the main industrial participants in design, development, and manufacture. Associate members of the consortium are Belairbus of Belgium and Fokker Aviation of the Netherlands.
Airbus Industrie was restructured into a limited liability company in 1999, divisions included Airbus Industrie Asia, formed with Alenia of Italy to develop a new airliner in partnership with AVIC of China and ST Aero of Singapore; Airbus Military Company to develop the FLA military freighter (taking over from former Euroflag; and Large Aircraft, founded in 1996 to progress work on the ultra-large A3XX airliner.
On 11 July 2001, EADS and BAE Systems completed the final procedures to make the new integrated Airbus company a formal legal entity.