Airbus today announced an exceptional price increase for its aircraft, adding $2 million per single-aisle aircraft and $4 million per wide-body...

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Airbus today announced an exceptional price increase for its aircraft, adding $2 million per single-aisle aircraft and $4 million per wide-body on top of a general inflation increase of 2.74 percent.

Both Boeing and Airbus have long waiting lists for airplanes, creating an opportunity to raise prices. The Airbus A320 single-aisle family of jets and the A330 midsize wide-bodies are in particularly hot demand.

The new price list means the smallest Airbus A318 sells for $56 million and up, a 6.3 percent increase, while at the opposite end of the size range the superjumbo A380 is listed at a top price of $337.5 million, up 2.3 percent. The A330-200 goes up 5.1 percent. The A350-900, the first of the new Airbus jet family, goes up 4.5 percent.

Airbus said the price hike was necessary to compensate for the weakness of the U.S. dollar and for an increase in raw material prices, particularly the cost of metal.

Airbus customers pay in dollars although many of the manufacturer’s costs are in euros. Over the last 12 months, the euro rose from $1.35 to almost $1.60, which translates into a dollar devaluation of more than 15 percent and sets the dollar at its lowest rate in 20 years. Prices for metal products have gone up by at least 6.5 percent in 2007, Airbus said.

The new pricing will apply as of May 1. It is the first time since 2003 that Airbus has applied a price increase above inflation.