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Airbus boss ‘would step down if needed’


Airbus boss 'would step down if needed'

Image copyright Airbus

Airbus chief executive Tom Enders has said he would be prepared to step down if he was "no longer part of the solution", as the firm deals with ongoing corruption probes.

The aircraft maker is under investigation in the UK and France into its use of middlemen in plane sales.

Mr Enders said he saw no reason to resign, but added he would be ready to do so if needed.

The Airbus board said last week that it had full confidence in Mr Enders.

The UK's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and later its French counterpart opened investigations into Airbus after the firm reported itself in 2016.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Tom Enders took over as Airbus chief executive in 2012

In an interview with German newspaper Handelsblatt, Mr Enders said: "You can be assured: once I am no longer part of the solution, and I hope I would realise myself when that is, I will draw the consequences [and step down].

"But for now, I don't think we're at this point," he added, according to a pre-released version of the paper's Monday edition.

'Significant fine'

The SFO opened an investigation in August 2016 into allegations of "fraud, bribery and corruption" in the civil aviation business of Airbus.

The firm, which employs more than 130,000 people globally – including about 10,000 in the UK – asked the regulator to look at documentation about its use of overseas agents.

On Friday, Mr Enders said it was "not impossible that the fine will be significant" from the UK and French probes.

Airbus also faces an investigation in Austria over a €2bn (£1.8bn) deal struck more than a decade ago for its Eurofighter jet.

The firm confirmed in April that Mr Enders was a subject of the Austrian inquiry, adding that the allegations were "completely unsubstantiated".

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