Questions have been asked why Air Pacific is being involved in further debt by purchasing Airbus aircraft instead of leasing aircraft. Could the answer be in the following article. It would seem that Airbus in the past have paid commissions either directly or indirectly to purchasers of their aircraft. Who was involved in the Air Pacific decision, who in Air Pacific and government were consulted, who is to be held accountable for the fact that delivery is now imminent yet no flight crew, or engineers have commenced receiving training. Who will be held accountable if Air Pacific collapses as Sabena Airlines did after their purchase of Airbus aircraft for their airline. Can someone please give us an answer.
One of the reasons for all the flight delays and cancellations is FTHF Dave has laid out the flight schedules but has not scheduled the crews that fly the aircraft. Hence delays and cancellations… All due to Grandstanding for his Minister instead of good management practices….Could Air Pacific be heading for collapse under FTHF Dave’s mismanagement??
The following is an extract from: Airbus’s secret past.
Economist June 12th 2003
There are police forces which have shown rather more resolve and initiative than the CBI. One important case establishes that Airbus has paid “commissions” to individuals hiding behind shell companies in jurisdictions where ownership of companies is not a matter of public record, and where strict bank secrecy applies.
Airbus’s first big sale in North America was a $1.5 billion deal, signed in 1988, to sell 34 aircraft to the then state-owned Air Canada. The middleman was Karlheinz Schreiber, a German-Canadian with connections to politicians in Germany and Canada. Mr Schreiber emerged as a figure in the financing scandal that engulfed Germany’s Christian Democrat party and its top politician, Helmut Kohl, a former chancellor, in the late 1990s.
In August 1999 the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, acting on a German arrest warrant, nabbed Mr Schreiber. In 2000, Mr Schreiber was charged in Germany with tax evasion on money he had received for the Airbus transaction and other deals. The Süddeutsche Zeitung, a German daily, has supplied a copy of Mr Schreiber’s indictment to The Economist. According to this document, Airbus signed a consultancy contract (amended four times) with International Aircraft Leasing (IAL) in March 1985. IAL, which was to help with the Air Canada deal, was a shell company based in Vaduz, Liechtenstein, and a subsidiary of another Liechtenstein-registered shell, Kensington Anstalt.
According to the indictment, between September 30th 1988 and October 21st 1993 (ie, as Air Canada took delivery of Airbus planes), Airbus paid a total of $22,540,000 in “commissions” to IAL. $10,867,000 was paid into IAL’s account number 235.972.037 at the Verwaltungs-und Privat-Bank in Vaduz and $11,673,000 into IAL’s account number 18.679.4 at Swiss Bank Corporation (SBC) in Zurich. During extradition proceedings against Mr Schreiber in 1999, Airbus admitted to these payments. In October 2000 Mr Schreiber won a suspension of execution of his case.The court ruled that IAL belonged to Mr Schreiber, but also that, to the extent that Mr Schreiber had paid out the Airbus “commissions” as Schmiergelder (“grease monies”), these payments could be tax deductible. Mr Schreiber’s German tax lawyer later told the court: “Schmiergelder were not openly paid to the ‘greased’ person by [Airbus]. It was through third persons to make reception anonymous and the Schmiergelder unrecognisable as such.”
So who got the commissions? After years of police investigations in at least five
jurisdictions, it is still not clear. According to “The Last Amigo”, a well-researched book on the affair by Harvey Cashore and Stevie Cameron, both Canadian journalists, a lot was withdrawn in cash. Mr Cashore, a producer on “the fifth estate”, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s main investigative programme, says that Mr Schreiber’s bank records and diaries showed that he usually followed a simple formula for dividing up the money: half for Canadians and half for Europeans.
The book alleges that there may have been a smaller scam within the bigger scam: an Airbus employee may have got some of the money. Some of the money was transferred into sub-accounts at SBC in Zurich. One of the sub-accounts, code-named “Stewardess”, received as much as one-eighth of the commissions. The book suggests that this account was intended for Stuart Iddles, Airbus’s senior vice-president from 1986 to 1994.
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