Airbus is a major airline and military aircraft manufacturer that was created in 1970 to compete with Boeing with the help of generous subsidies from the British, French, German, and Spanish governments. The company has been investigated over corruption in Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, the Philippines, Malaysia, Mexico, Nepal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Vietnam. In 2020 the company paid out $4 billion to prosecutors in France, the United States and the United Kingdom to drop investigations and lawsuits into alleged bribery payments.


Civilian & military aircrafts, drones, military services


competition-related offenses$532,224,4752
government-contracting-related offenses$1,043,4751
safety-related offenses$361,2145
environment-related offenses$39,5001

(September 19, 2023)

Number of Records
Total Penalties
$533,668,664 (September 19, 2023)
Individual Records & Summaries
Click here for details of Airbus's violations.
Information in this section is drawn from the Violation Tracker database produced by the Corporate Research Project of Good Jobs First in Washington DC. It is the most comprehensive source of data on business violations of laws and regulations in the United States. For specific examples of misconduct, please click on the links.


Videos & Podcasts
Airbus workers stage protest against 5000 job cuts in France
Airbus workers in Madrid protest redundancies
Thousands protest Airbus layoffs in Spain
Airbus Bribery Scandal: New Investigations Opening Worldwide


Other Key Sources
  • Business and Human Rights Resource Centre's profile on Airbus - UK-based Business and Human Rights Resource Centre is an NGO that employs researchers on five continents who work with activists, companies and governments alike to advance human rights in business by eradicating abuse.
  • Mirador's profile on Airbus - Mirador is a project of the Belgium-based NGO Research Group for an Alternative Economic Strategy (GRESEA), which monitors abuse carried out by the largest multinational corporations in Belgium and the world.


Recent & Ongoing Campaigns
French union urges Airbus to reopen salary pact due to inflation

Tim Hepher & Leigh Thomas | Reuters | March 7, 2023

One of France's largest unions, Force Ouvriere, has called on planemaker Airbus to renegotiate part of an existing salary accord to take account of high inflation, in the latest sign of growing wage pressures in European industry.

Europe: BETTER FINANCE joins forces in collective redress for individual Airbus investors

BETTER FINANCE | February 22, 2023

BETTER FINANCE, The European Federation of Investors and Financial Services Users, joins forces with Stichting Investor Loss Compensation (SILC), assisting Airbus shareholders recover losses resulting from Airbus’ involvement in bribery practices and other wrongful conducts.

Spanish Airbus strike shuts down production at several factories

Alyssa McMurtry | Anadolu Agency | November 2, 2022

Thousands of Airbus workers across Spain went on strike Wednesday to demand higher wages from the multinational aerospace corporation. Unions said the “majority” of the company’s around 12,300 workers in Spain turned up at picket lines in front of eight factories.

Stop Arming Saudi Arabia

Campaign Against the Arms Trade | April 12, 2022

Saudi Arabia is the UK’s biggest arms customer and one of the world’s most authoritarian regimes. UK-made warplanes bombs and missiles are playing a central role in the Saudi-led coalition’s attacks on Yemen. We’re calling on the UK government to stop the arms sales now.

UK: Airbus strike called off after improved pay offer

BBC | April 6, 2022

Workers at the factories in Broughton, Flintshire, and Filton, near Bristol, are to be balloted over the next two weeks on whether to accept the company's latest pay offer.

Spain: Protesting Airbus workers have blockaded the CA-35 Highway near Cadiz April 14

Garda World | April 14, 2021

Ongoing protest by Airbus workers blocks CA-35 Highway near Cadiz, Spain, April 14. Increased security, localized disruptions likely.

European Airbus workers call for a truly European recovery strategy and oppose forced redundancies

IndustriALL | March 23, 2021

Trade unions representing Airbus civil aviation workers came together on 19 March to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the industry and the ‘Odyssey’ restructuring plan put forward by Airbus in 2020 to manage the crisis. The trade unions agreed on joint demands on behalf of all European workers and demonstrated strong solidarity with workers in Spain.

Thousands of Spanish Airbus workers protest layoff plan

Guillermo Martinez & Sergio Perez | Reuters | July 23, 2020

Thousands of Spanish Airbus employees gathered outside a factory near Madrid on Thursday, waving banners and chanting through face-masks, to protest against a restructuring plan that will see hundreds of jobs lost.

France: Thousands of Airbus workers march, stage ‘empty chair’ protest over job cuts

Al Arabiya | July 8, 2020

Thousands of Airbus workers marched alongside an airport runway in France and staged an ‘empty chair’ protest in Germany on Wednesday to protest against plans to cut up to 15,000 jobs.

Strike Called To Protest Airbus Reopening of Spanish Plants

Gregory Polek | Aviation International News | March 25, 2020

Spain’s General Confederation of Labor (Confederación General del Trabajo, CGT) has called for an indefinite strike at Airbus’s Spanish factories starting on March 30 in protest of the company’s decision to reopen the plants following a four-day closure due to Covid-19 concerns.

ICC must investigate arms company executives linked to Yemen war crimes allegations

Amnesty International | December 12, 2019

“Company executives have had ample time and access to plenty of reliable information to reassess their decisions to supply the Coalition in the light of the horrific events in Yemen...” The Communication focuses on the role of the following companies: Airbus Defence and Space S.A. (Spain)...

Major Investigations
& Lawsuits
Portugal: Airbus’s secret, illegal participation in the privatisation of TAP

João Pimenta Lopes/European Parliament | August 23, 2023

The committee of inquiry uncovered an illegal, unfair scheme in the 2015 TAP privatisation process involving Airbus and the purchase of aircraft worth EUR 6 billion from the company by TAP.

Selling Death: how arms manufacturers put a positive spin on weapons production

Joely Thomas & Chiara Torelli | Action on Armed Violence | August 4, 2023

European company Airbus goes even further, claiming the security their military products provide “is a prerequisite of peace, the rule of law, political stability, democracy, environmental sustainability, human rights, economic development and prosperity, and scientific progress.”

U.S.-Made Technology Is Flowing to Russian Airlines, Despite Sanctions

Ana Swanson & Niraj Chokshi | The New York Times | May 15, 2023

Russian customs data shows that millions of dollars of aircraft parts made by Boeing, Airbus and others were sent to Russia last year.

France: Prosecutor appeals Rio-Paris plane crash verdict that cleared Air France, Airbus of manslaughter

France 24 | April 27, 2023

Families of those who died had sought to establish criminal liability for France's worst air disaster and the trial focused on whether Airbus had reacted too slowly and whether Air France had done enough to ensure its pilots were sufficiently trained.

EU champion Airbus has deep links to Chinese military industrial complex, report says

Stuart Lau | Politico | June 22, 2022

Top European planemaker Airbus has advanced technology sharing and manufacturing agreements with entities linked to China's state-run military apparatus, a new report shows.

New report reveals: Arms exports by Spanish company Airbus to Saudi Arabia and UAE may have contributed to war crimes in Yemen

ECCHR | May 12, 2022

Based on the report’s findings, official UN and civil society reports indicate that war crimes were committed by SA and the UAE in Yemen. Both Spanish government officials and the decision-making staff of Airbus Defence may have aided and abetted alleged war crimes.

Airbus is the exclusive provider of ballistic missiles used in the French nuclear arsenal

Don't Bank on the Bomb | 2022

MBDA France, in which Airbus has a 37.5% stake, is the prime contractor for the ASMPA medium-range air-to-ground nuclear armed cruise missile for the French nuclear arsenal. MBDA is also contracted by the French government for work related to development of the ASMPA-successor, the ASN4G.

Airbus profits from wars, human rights violations and militarized borders

Urgewald | April 13, 2021

For the militarization of the U.S.-Mexico border, Airbus delivered over a hundred helicopters to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Many people have died at this border because these security systems forced them to take dangerous routes through the desert. 

Brazil's police shoots at residential areas from Airbus helicopters

Urgewald | April 13, 2021

In 2019 alone, 6,375 people died as a result of police violence, many of them uninvolved children and teenagers. Airbus helicopters are regularly used for such operations, where people are shot and civilian buildings are riddled with bullets.

Airbus maintaining Turkey’s war: European giant aids Turkey with military airbridge to embargoed Libya

Leone Hadavi, Youri van der Weijde, Bashar Deeb, Ludo Hekman, Maud Jullien, Hans Martin Tillack, Pol Pareja, Philipp Gruel, Valentina Azarova, Stefano Trevisan, Benjamin Strick & Klaas van Dijken | Lighthouse Reports | August 25, 2020

According to legal experts, Airbus’s support for Turkish A400M aircraft being deployed in the Libya conflict constitutes a violation by these states and corporations of their obligations.

‘Powerful military and security industry’ profiting from dividing Europe 30 years after Berlin Wall fell

Jon Stone | The Independent | November 11, 2019

A new report identifies three arms firms – Thales, Airbus and Leonardo – alongside other security, construction, and technology firms as key beneficiaries of the wall-building spree that has followed the panic about migration.

Austria Sues Airbus Over Eurofighter Deal

Agence France Presse | Feb 16, 2017

A government probe concluded that the Airbus and Eurofighter consortium had “deliberately misled the Austrian Republic on the real price, delivery capabilities and its equipment” of the deal signed in 2003.

Environmental Impacts
EU investment rules will greenwash 90% of Airbus’ polluting planes

Transport & Environment | February 17, 2023

The EU taxonomy for sustainable investments could greenwash over 7,000 Airbus aircraft, new data by T&E finds. This represents over 90% of Airbus’ future aircraft orders. Planes qualify for the criteria if they meet weak fuel efficiency standards, even though they still rely almost exclusively on fossil fuels.

Airbus to keep burning traditional jet fuel until at least 2050

Engineering & Technology | June 10, 2021

Airbus has advised EU officials that most aeroplanes will continue to rely on conventional jet engines until at least 2050 in a briefing released ahead of its report on low-emissions aviation, Reuters has reported.

Airbus reveals planes sold in last two years will emit over 1bn tonnes of CO2

Jasper Jolly | The Guardian | February 26, 2021

Planes sold by Airbus in 2019 and 2020 will produce well over 1bn tonnes of carbon dioxide during their lifetimes, according to landmark first estimates of the aerospace manufacturer’s emissions.

‘We can live with this’: How Airbus was allowed to write its own climate rules

Transport & Environment | January 27, 2018

Emails released to Transport & Environment after an 18 month-long appeal process have confirmed that when crafting CO2 rules for aircraft, the European Commission – the regulator – gave Airbus – the regulated entity – privileged access to the EU decision-making process and allowed Airbus to determine the EU position.

Employment Practices
& Relations
Poland: Airbus Polska terminated the collective agreement for employees

Verietyinfo | November 28, 2020

Airbus Poland has terminated the provisions of the collective agreement for its employees.

USA: Former employee sues AIRBUS under False Claims Act

John O'Brien |  Legal Newsline | October 30, 2020

A former employee who managed contracts with the federal government says he was effectively fired for reporting misconduct at AIRBUS U.S. Space & Defense.

UK urged to 'lead by example' on slavery as top state suppliers flout law

Kieran Guilbert | Reuters | May 20, 2019

Airbus, accountancy firm Ernst & Young (EY) and Microsoft were among the non-compliant companies having failed to link to a statement on their website homepages, the research found.

German Airbus Workers Protest Plant Sales | July 27, 2007

Several thousand workers at three German Airbus plants staged protests against the aircraft maker's possible sale of two of the factories.

Europe: Airbus Workers Strike to Protest Restructuring Plan

CNBC | March 16, 2007

Workers at Airbus plants in France, Germany and Spain staged strikes and protests Friday maintaining a united front against a restructuring plan the troubled aircraft maker said would slash 10,000 jobs across Europe.


Corporate Headquarters
B80 Building, 2, rond-point Dewoitine, BP 90112, 31703 Blagnac Cede, France
Most Recent Gross Revenue
US$61.913 billion (2022) | source
Most Recent Net Revenue
US$4.475 billion (2022) | source
Stock Exchange Tickers
Euronext Paris: AIR, BMAD: AIR, FWB: AIR
Major Funders
New report: Largest European banks bankroll high-risk arms traders

PAX for Peace | Bank Track | July 12, 2022

French bank BNP Paribas has the largest investments in fifteen of the world’s largest arms producers. The bank invests over 16 billion euro in eleven arms producers, including Boeing and Airbus. Airbus has, for instance, sold fighter jets to Saudi Arabia and anti-ship missiles to the United Arab Emirates.

Major Shareholders

Click here for the latest list.


Political Influence

Open Secrets - Tracks corporate lobbying of US politicians.

Open Secrets Logo PAC Profile of Airbus


Kuwait Defence Ministry to co-operate with parliamentary probe into military deals

Ismaeel Naar | The National News | December 15, 2022

The National Assembly on Wednesday announced the formation of a panel to investigate the ministry’s $8.7 billion deal to purchase Eurofighter warplanes and another $1 billion deal to buy 30 Caracal military helicopters from Airbus.

Airbus Settles Kazakhstan, Libya Bribery Probes with €16M Fine

Inci Sayki | OCCRP | December 6, 2022

The settlement is expected to conclude investigations dating back to 2016 into bribery in the sale of planes and satellites to Libya and Kazakhstan between 2006 and 2011, the prosecutors said. According to the scheme, Airbus used a network of intermediaries to bribe officials upon entering new markets, such as in Kazakhstan.

Airbus fed regulator talking points on Qatar jet row, court told

Tim Hepher | Reuters | November 11, 2022

Airbus sought to exert influence over the European Union Aviation Safety Agency in a dispute with Qatar Airways over damaged A350 jets, providing the agency with a "Line To Take" when communicating with others, a UK court heard on Friday.

Airbus faces fresh bribery settlement, French prosecutor says

Juliette Jabkhiro & Tim Hepher | Reuters | October 25, 2022

French publication Mediapart reported that Airbus was facing an investigation into alleged bribery in the sale of 21 jets to Libya in 2007, part of a wider probe into links with Libya under late leader Muammar Gaddafi.

EU Defence Agency under pressure to change rules after Airbus revolving doors scandal

Corporate Europe Observatory | May 26, 2021

The European Ombudsman concluded on 15 July that the European Defence Agency (EDA) should have forbidden its former Chief Executive from becoming a Strategic Advisor for Airbus Defence and Space.

Lobbying Fortress Europe: The making of a border-industrial complex

Myriam Douo, Luisa Izuzquiza & Margarida Silva | Corporate Europe Observatory | February 5, 2021

From 2017 to 2019 Frontex met with 138 private bodies – of these 108 were companies; 10 research centres / think tanks; 15 universities and 1 NGO (see table below). European defence companies Airbus and Leonardo were awarded the most access, with five meetings each.

Ghana: Airbus scandal: JM set up bogus company to receive bribes, sold integrity for €5m - NPP

GhanaWeb | December 4, 2020

Mr John Mahama, as President of Ghana, set up a “bogus” company through which he received bribes in connection with the Airbus scandal, the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) has told journalists at a press conference.

Germany: The CDU Party Funding Scandal

World Peace Foundation | Corruption Tracker | November 16, 2020

Karlheinz Schreiber – arms and aerospace broker, working for MBB, Airbus, and Thyssen-Henschel. Found guilty of tax evasion charges and sentenced to six and half years imprisonment.

Airbus to pay record £3bn in fines for 'endemic' corruption

David Pegg & Rob Evans | The Guardian | January 31, 2020

Airbus, Europe’s largest aerospace multinational, is to pay a record £3bn in penalties after admitting it had paid huge bribes on an “endemic” basis to land contracts in 20 countries.

Germany: Airbus ordered to pay $99 million fine in Eurofighter case

Tim Hepher | Reuters | February 9, 2018

German prosecutors have ordered Airbus to pay 81.25 million euros ($99 million) to settle one of two investigations into alleged corruption surrounding the sale of Eurofighter combat jets to Austria in 2003, the two sides said on Friday.

Corporate Interests Dominate Lobbying With EU Policy-Makers

Sean Buchanan | Inter Press Service | June 24, 2015

According to Transparency lnternational’s new analysis, of the more than 4,300 lobby meetings declared by the top tier of European Commission officials between December 2014 and June 2015, more than 75 percent were with corporate lobbyists. Google, General Electric and Airbus were reported to be among the most active lobbyists at this level...

Canada: Secret Airbus Files Revealed

Jonathan Gatehouse | The Canadian Encyclopedia | February 19, 2008

A secret U.S. dossier on the Airbus affair, shared with high-ranking members of Brian Mulroney's government, alleged that the then prime minister directly intervened in Air Canada's 1988 decision to purchase the planes, as his political friends pocketed commissions and his Progressive Conservative Party grew fat on donations from Karlheinz Schreiber and campaign funds connected to the deal.

Subsidy Tracker
Subsidy Tracker
Subsidy Tracker is a project of Good Jobs First in Washington DC. It is the most comprehensive source of data on state and federal subsidies in the United States. For more details, click on the links.
Click here for details of subsidies received by Airbus.
Major Projects
Airbus to operate drones searching for migrants crossing the Mediterranean

Jasper Jolly | The Guardian | October 20, 2020

Airbus and two Israeli arms companies will be paid €100m (£91m) to operate unmanned drones to spot refugees and migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean sea to Europe, according to EU contracts.


Major Procurement Contracts

Airbus contracts with the U.S. Federal Government (via USA SPENDING)

Airbus contracts with the U.S. Federal Government (via SAM)


Small group of big arms producers profit most of EU defence funding

Ana Curic, Paulo Pena & Manuel Rico | Investigate Europe | March 27, 2022

Airbus, Leonardo, Thales: the European military companies that benefited most from EU defence money, are part state-owned and interconnected. They are also co-owned by major US investments funds.

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