The UK's Serious Fraud Office has begun an investigation into allegations of "fraud, bribery and corruption" in aircraft manufacturer Airbus.>The French company has a base in Filton in Bristol and says it is cooperating with the inquiry which was opened last month. >The allegations relate to irregularities concerning third party consultants. The SFO was asked to look at documentation provided by the company about its use of overseas agents.

The aircraft maker, which also has its headquarters in Wales and in France, revealed in April that it was in talks with British authorities over "inaccuracies" found in applications it had made for UK Government credit guarantees.