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Airbus selling planes in euros, not dollars

PARIS: European plane maker Airbus said Thursday it had begun selling aircraft in euros, a first for the industry, as the eurozone debt crisis has pinched dollar financing for jet purchases.

"It has happened. We have several contracts with airlines in euros," Airbus finance director Hans Peter Ring said during a presentation on the third-quarter results of Airbus parent company EADS.

"The number is starting to become significant," he added.

Aircraft sales, long dominated by US companies, has traditionally been in dollars.

Exchange rates have long been a concern for Airbus which has most of its production costs in euros and earnings in dollars.

The eurozone debt crisis, however, has put a squeeze on the ability of European banks that have financed aircraft purchases to raise dollars.

Airbus has previously said its sales had yet to be affected by the crisis and that it expected other banks would step into the financing market.

French bank Societe Generale confirmed earlier this week that it was getting out of aircraft financing as part of its efforts to reduce its operations in dollars.

 

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