EADS mulls limited euro exposure for Airbus

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Airbus is looking to sell its aircraft in euros rather than in US dollars to avoid the swings in currency and minimise its exposure to the strong European currency.

"The challenge and the target this year is to identify airlines in Europe and the Middle East and in some other regions - obviously not those in North America - that have a mirroring exposure to what we have," said Hans-Peter Ring, CFO at Airbus parent company EADS.

Airbus's European operations are all conducted in euros, while its aircraft are sold in dollars. The relative strength of the euro over the dollar has meant its customers paying in have enjoyed a favourable exchange rate, while challenging the airframer's cost control relative to its sale prices.

Ring said EADS is in search of airlines which are "probably dollar short" compared with Airbus being "dollar long".

"Will it be on a sizable scale? This is the real question. If it is $1 billion or $2 billion exposure we can reduce, it is not changing the world on our exposure.

"It's really a question of how significant it can be. But I think we will get contracts in that respect," said Ring.

EADS and Airbus have sought to encourage their supply base to set operations outside of the eurozone economies and conduct operations in dollars to more favourably provide cost advantages throughout the supply chain.

"That has an upfront investment clearly," said Ring. "But an investment which should deliver stability because of natural hedge and if done intelligently, lower cost in the end."

"This would be a win-win, if we can identify that for sides because they would avoid to hedge themselves, and we can avoid to hedge."

EADS sources an approximate $11 billion of parts and equipment from the USA.