Airbus is aiming to make €1.5 billion ($1.6 billion) savings - 10% of its costs - over the next three years because of the weak US dollar, and expects suppliers to bear the brunt.

Although the company's costs are split roughly evenly between euros and dollars, its revenues are almost entirely in the US currency, so a further decline in the dollar will hit margins.

Delivering the Royal Aeronautical Society's Lindbergh lecture in London last week, Airbus chief executive Noël Forgeard said the company's objective was "to develop profitability to shareholders" from 2006, when the A380 enters service and expected global recovery begins. He added: "There will have to be burden-sharing with partners. We have to do it. We can do it and we shall do it."

He said job cuts among the 46,000 workforce were unlikely. The company expects to deliver 300 aircraft this year, and Forgeard said deliveries could fall to 260 without a drop in headcount.

When questioned, Forgeard paid a barbed compliment to rival Boeing, saying its latest 7E7 project "makes much more sense than the previous two [Sonic Cruiser and 747-400X Stretch]". But he added: "It is difficult to understand their product policy."

Source: Flight International