Airbus agrees to pay €3.6 billion in corruption settlement

A330-900neo and A350-1000 in flight. Photo: © Airbus

Airbus has agreed to pay a €3.6 billion (US $4 billion) fine, subject to court approval, in a settlement deal on bribery and corruption allegations.

This comes amid an investigation into the European company’s commercial aircraft business regarding claims of bribery and corruption. The probe was launched in August 2016 by the United Kingdom’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO).

The planemaker has reached a Deferred Prosecution Agreement with the British authority, after admitting wrongdoing by itself. A public hearing has been scheduled for Friday. This settlement could be the highest fine ever imposed on a company in the UK.

France’s Parquet National Financier (PNF) had also joined the investigation in 2016, followed by US authorities in 2018.

Airbus’ penalty payment is subject to court approval in all three countries. The total amount of money to be paid was first announced on Tuesday evening. Before that, the company had only issued a basic statement without financial details in the morning.