Malaysia-based low-cost carrier AirAsia has denied any claims of its or its subsidiary AirAsia X’s involvement in the corruption scandal in which Rolls Royce allegedly bribed companies with millions of dollars in order to secure contracts for its aircraft engines.
According to the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) of Great Britain’s inquiry, over the last three decades, Rolls Royse paid an exorbitant amount in bribes in order to win contracts in Malaysia, as well as other countries such as Russia, China, India, Thailand, Indonesia and Nigeria.
The SFO further states that Rolls Royce in particular bribed an unnamed executive of AirAsia Group with credits worth $3.2 million for maintenance of a private jet. “This financial advantage”, the SFO stated, was given to the AirAsia executive “in return for his showing favour towards Rolls Royce in the purchase of products and services”.
However, AirAsia claims it had done nothing wrong and had “gone through the due process and obtained the necessary approval” when it bought the Bombardier Global Express private jet which was used by AirAsia execs.
The jet in question was owned by Caterhamjet Global and under the agreement with its owner, AirAsia made a yearly $3 million contribution for its maintenance. AirAsia reportedly entered into a buying agreement for the jet, but the deal is still to be completed.
AirAsia said in a statement to the stock exchange:
We wish to state that at all material times, AirAsia has had no dealings or transactions with Rolls-Royce.
At the same time, in a statement of its own, AirAsia’s long-haul, low-cost subsidiary, AirAsia X also denied allegations connecting its executives with Rolls Royce bribery scandal, saying it had “long established good and open business dealings with Rolls Royce”.
AirAsia X also said in the statement:
AirAsia X, its directors and officers have never sought personal favour or gratification from Rolls-Royce other than to negotiate for the best possible commercial and financial terms for the benefit of the company.
Rolls Royce admitted to the bribery and agreed to pay an $808 million in settlement to authorities in United States, Britain and Brazil.