Serious Fraud Office opens Airbus corruption investigation

A380 Plane Image copyright Airbus

The UK's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has launched an investigation into allegations of "fraud, bribery and corruption" in the civil aviation business of Airbus.

The allegations relate to irregularities concerning third party consultants.

The France-based aircraft manufacturer said it was co-operating with the probe, which was launched last month.

In April, UK authorities froze export credit applications by Airbus.

The SFO was asked to look at documentation provided by the company about its use of overseas agents.

Image copyright Airbus

Export credits are used by many governments to support exporters, often by underwriting bank loans offered to overseas buyers of UK products.

Last year Airbus used export financing for 6% of its deliveries.

The main parts of Airbus commercial aircraft are made in France, Germany and the UK.

Britain usually provides export support to Airbus in partnership with the other two nations.

Germany and France joined the UK in halting export credits.

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