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Serious Fraud Office launch criminal investigation of Airbus

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has launched a criminal investigation into alleged fraud, bribery and corruption at civil aviation giant Airbus Group.

Airbus has major UK operations in Broughton. Credit: PA

The company, which has major UK operations in Flintshire at Broughton, revealed in April that it was in discussions with the British authorities over "inaccuracies" it had found in applications it had made for UK Government credit guarantees.

Airbus Group has been informed by the SFO that it has opened a criminal investigation into allegations of fraud, bribery and corruption in the civil aviation business of Airbus Group relating to irregularities concerning third party consultants. Airbus Group continues to cooperate with the SFO.

– Airbus statement

Airbus said at the time that errors had been uncovered in an internal compliance review. The UK export credit agency said it was for the SFO to decide whether to pursue the matter further.

An SFO spokesman confirmed: "The director of the Serious Fraud Office has opened a criminal investigation into allegations of fraud, bribery and corruption in the civil aviation business of Airbus Group. These allegations relate to irregularities concerning third-party consultants."

The use of third-party middlemen in major commercial deals has been the target of anti-bribery legislation around the world.


Airbus fined £200,000 for worker crushed to death

Airbus has been fined £200,000 after one of its workers was crushed to death.

Donald Williams was a maintenance worker at the factory. Credit: Family Photo

62-year-old Donald Williams died at the firm's Broughton plant in 2011.

Airbus pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to a health and safety charge following the death of its employee. Mr Williams from Buckley, died caught between a tractor and a fertiliser spreader.

Although his colleagues managed to release him, Mr Williams died shortly after having been taken to hospital.

The HSE prosecution alleged that fitters in the department had received no training for driving, maintaining or attaching equipment to tractors and lacked understanding of tractor controls.

Economy Minister welcomes Airbus order

The Economy Minister, Edwina Hart AM, has welcomed the news that AirAsia has made an order with Airbus for 25 more A330-300s. The wings will be made at Airbus' Broughton plant in North Wales, which employs 6,000 people.

This is great news for Airbus and another feather in the cap for the highly skilled team at Broughton.

Airbus makes a massive contribution to the Welsh economy financially, as well in terms of employment, skills development, apprenticeships and supply chain opportunities.

I congratulate the company on winning yet another significant contract that in turn helps the long term sustainability of its operation in Wales.

– Edwina Hart AM, Economy Minister

Airbus order a 'significant boost' to Welsh Economy

The wings will be made at the Airbus Broughton plant in North Wales Credit: PA

AirAsia has ordered 25 additional A330-300s Airbus aircrafts, providing a major boost to Wales' aerospace industry.

The Airbus contract with AirAsia announced in Paris today is the largest A330 order received by Airbus in a single purchase agreement.

The wings will be made at Airbus' Broughton plant in North Wales, which employs 6,000 people.

Secretary of State for Wales, David Jones MP, said the order "further cements" the crucial role Wales plays in the aerospace industry.

Mr Jones said: "These deals play a significant part in boosting the Welsh economy and are a real validation of the skills, talents and capabilities of our workforce here in Wales."

Inquest opens into deaths of light aircraft couple

Kaye Clark and Gary Vickers Credit: Gordon Vickers

An inquest has opened into the deaths of a couple killed when a light aircraft crashed at Hawarden Airport last Friday.

At a brief hearing in Ruthin, North East Wales coroner John Gittins formally opened the inquests into the deaths of Gary Anthony Vickers, 58, and Kaye Clarke, 43, both of Dingle Bank, Chester.

The provisional cause of death in Mr Vickers’s case was head and chest injuries, while Miss Clarke, who was a passenger in the plane, died later at the Countess of Chester Hospital of shock and haemorrhage.

Adjourning the inquests to a date to be fixed, the coroner said that investigations into the tragedy were expected to be extensive.


Father's tribute to son killed in plane crash

Kaye Clark and Gary Vickers Credit: Gordon Vickers

The father of Gary Vickers who was killed in a plane crash on Friday in Broughton has paid tribute to him.

Gordon Vickers said: "The accident with my Son Gary has been a great loss. We extend our condolences to Kaye's family.

"We would like to thank everybody who has sent their condolences.

"Gary was flying from Paris to Hawarden with his partner Kay Clarke when the accident happened.

"He was without doubt a very accomplished Pilot. Very meticulous in his approach to Flying. We both started flying about 15 years ago."

Mr Vickers said flying was his son's passion, adding: "Sadly there is always a risk. It is very sad that two lives have ended this way. We would like to thank the emergency services at Hawarden for their prompt attendance."

£30bn Airbus order secures Broughton jobs

Emirates and Etihad Airways have ordered 50 new A350 planes and 36 A320neos Credit: Airbus

Thousands of workers at the Airbus site in Broughton in North Wales have been given job security after the plane manufacturer secured deals worth more than £30 billion at the Dubai airshow.

The Dubai airline Emirates has ordered 50 Airbus A380 superjumbos and UAE airline, Etihad Airways want 50 A350 planes as well as 36 A320neos. The Broughton site produce the wings for all the aircraft.

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