Indian police will send a team to London to question an Airbus Group NV executive as part of a four-year investigation into a plane purchase deal, a person with direct knowledge of the decision said.
The Central Bureau of Investigation will question Kiran Rao, an executive vice president of strategy and marketing at the planemaker, according to a law enforcement official, who requested anonymity as the information isn’t public. Rao will be questioned to see if “irregularities” were committed when the planemaker set up a maintenance facility in India as part of the deal, the person said, declining to elaborate.
Sending a team to London is part of the Central Bureau of Investigation’s probe into state-owned Indian Airlines Ltd.’s 2006 purchase of 43 single-aisle planes from Toulouse, France-based Airbus. The CBI last year formally registered a case against the planemaker and seven officials at the Indian carrier, now merged with Air India Ltd.
“Airbus is cooperating with the investigations and we cannot say any more at this time,” Justin Dubon, a spokesman for the planemaker, said by telephone. Rao isn’t available for a comment, Dubon said.
Indian Airlines agreed to buy the Airbus planes after it got guarantees that the aircraft sold by the manufacturer would not cost more than those bought by Southeast Asian carriers.
The Times of India reported the news earlier today.