KUALA LUMPUR — Feb. 2, 2020: AirAsia has denied any involvement of impropriety as alleged in an investigation by the United Kingdom Serious Fraud Office (SFO) on Airbus.
This follows media reports that said the airline’s senior executives were implicated in the probe that resulted in a deferred prosecution agreement between Airbus and the SFO.
In a statement, AirAsia clarified that each of its aircraft purchase agreement was never made by a single individual but instead made after a through evaluation and collective decision by the board.
The airline also said such a decision was made after taking into account technical specifications, aircraft flight performance and operating economics.
It also stressed that the superiority and reliability of the aircraft and increasingly attractive pricing being offered to maintain its competitive edge in the airline business being key considerations for such decisions.
In relation to the allegations in the media, AirAsia said as a customer of Airbus since 2005, it had never made a purchase based on an Airbus sponsorship.
“We also wish to emphasise that all negotiations and dealings leading to the signing of any aircraft purchase agreement have been undertaken directly with Airbus on an arm’s length basis, and without the involvement of any third parties or intermediaries.
“AirAsia executives negotiated rigorously in the interests of the company and had at all times acted in good faith,” it said.
AirAsia also noted that as per the allegations, its correspondence with Airbus dating back more than a decade has been reported without proper context or review, which may have led to views and opinions being formed unfairly and prematurely.
As for the involvement of Airbus in the sponsorship of a sports team, AirAsia said it was a well-known and widely-publicised matter.
The airline said its own sponsorship of the sports team went through due internal assessment and approvals before being considered and approved by its board.
“AirAsia is monitoring developments in this matter and will review any allegations or negative inferences concerning or affecting AirAsia and/or any of its executives and will fully cooperate with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the relevant authorities where required,” it added.