The use of middle men to pursue military sales is having a material impact on Europe’s biggest airplane maker.
On Tuesday, Airbus stated it had uncovered serious issues involving the use of sales agents to sell U.S. arms technology.
The development has, for the first time, dragged the U.S into a growing corruption scandal at Europe’s biggest aerospace company.
Significantly, Airbus has also issued a warning of a material impact from potential fines resulting from existing bribery investigations in France and the UK surrounding the use of middlemen in airplane sales. The news has triggered a sweeping internal investigation.
However it said, it is too early to gauge the outcome or timing of these latest U.S.-related findings.
Airbus stated, it has discovered inaccuracies in past declarations to the U.S. State Department under part 130 of the U.S. International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), a section of U.S. law that covers the usage of commissions for arm sales.
These corruption probes have badly shaken Airbus and its sales of aircrafts have been negatively effected.
Wilhelm has declined to say whether the latest disclosure could lead to an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice, which, so far, has stayed out of the European bribery scandal.
However, the company has reaffirmed its 2017 guidance while acknowledging that it would miss its informal goal of delivering 720 jet, which is higher from its official target of 700.
Airbus provided a written and a verbal delivery target which differ from each other for several quarters in a row.
The shortfall in deliveries can be mostly attributed engine delays for the A320neo.
Airbus stated it now expects to deliver fewer than 200 of the aircraft this year, compared with a target of “around 200”.