A UK newspaper reported that budget airlines AirAsia and its long-haul arm AirAsiaX were among those who allegedly received bribes from airlines manufacturer Airbus.
According to The Telegraph, court documents allegedly mentioned two “unnamed executives” at AirAsia and AirAsiaX as being among those who allegedly received bribes from Airbus in order to secure contracts.
The report, published last night, said the airlines later ordered 180 aircraft from Airbus and the two unnamed executives were “rewarded in respect of the aircraft order”, which was “secured by way of improper payments”, as described by the court documents.
The report also said that Airbus paid US$50 million and offered another US$55 million to sponsor a sports team linked to two executives described as “key decision-makers” at AirAsia and AirAsiaX.
One of the airline executives had purportedly sent an email saying he was “…fed up. You owe me four million already and I’m owed 16 million in total.
“This should have been paid ages ago when I bought the first 60 aircraft. I want my money,” read the email.
Other instances of bribery from Airbus involve the Sri Lankan Airlines, Taiwan’s TNA airline as well as a sale of a military aircraft in Ghana.
The alleged bribery took place between 2011 and 2015.
AirAsia has told Malaysiakini that it will release a statement on this matter soon.
Airbus will pay a record-breaking total of €3.6 billion in settlements in UK, France and the US after admitting to “endemic” levels of bribery in its business.
The previous global record settlement was when Brazilian engineering group Odebrecht paid US$2.6 billion to end investigations brought by domestic, US and Swiss authorities.