Airbus affair

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The Airbus affair refers to allegations of secret commissions paid to members of the Government of Canada during the term of Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, in exchange for then-crown corporation Air Canada's purchase of a large number of Airbus jets. The Chairman of Airbus (a European consortium) at the time of the contract competition was Franz Josef Strauss (1915–1988), a high profile German politician in Bavaria.

The order in question had long been pending, and both Boeing and Airbus Industrie had been competing heavily for the contract. Both offered shared production in Canada, and Boeing went so far as to buy de Havilland Canada to further strengthen their bargaining position, as well as gain access to the feederliner market where they, at that time, had no presence. The contract was eventually won by Airbus in 1988, with an order for 34 Airbus A320s, as well as the sale of some of Air Canada's existing Boeing 747 fleet. Boeing immediately put de Havilland up for sale, thereby putting that company in jeopardy, but the blame for this was generally placed on the government.

RCMP allegations

In 1995, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) accused Mulroney and Frank Moores of accepting kickbacks from Karlheinz Schreiber on the sale of Airbus planes to the government-owned airline during Mulroney's term as Prime Minister of Canada. The allegations were made in a letter sent by the RCMP to the government of Switzerland seeking access to banking records. Schreiber...
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