European aviation giant Airbus has fired 16 employees over an investigation into suspected industrial espionage. The employees were dismissed without any prior notice.
It was earlier reported that German prosecutors were investigating Airbus employees for a suspected internal spying over two arms projects with Germany's armed forces.
The news comes at a time when on Monday, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) ruled that the European Union continues to allow unfair subsidies to Airbus, supporting the U.S. case for retaliatory tariffs.
What are the charges?
The 16 employees work for the Munich-based Program Line Communications, Intelligence and Security, whose work revolve around cyber security and related activities.
According to news agency dpa, a spokesperson of the group said that the 16 employees were dismissed from service for potential misuse of client documents.
The investigation was initiated after Airbus intimated the German authorities in September about the potential irregularities involving the documents and the possibilities of spying by it employees over two arms deal with the country's armed forces according to Reuters.
The firing of the 16 employees was first reported by German newspaper Welt am Sonntag.
Per German newspaper reports, the company's employees gained access to secret files of the German army involving the acquisition of a communication system among others.
Airbus at that time had said that it was already conducting an internal review with the help of an external law firm.
Airbus scores individual milestone
Airbus has been having a dream run lately. The company has been roping in orders from across the world.
The news of the company dismissing 16 employees comes just a day after the company celebrated the production of its 100th A220 aircraft at the aircraft programme's headquarter at Mirabel in Canada.
A220, which was earlier known as the C Series was first delivered in June 2016 to A220-100 launch operator SWISS. The company also put up a great show at the Dubai Air Show, where in it finalised a $25 billion deal with Emirates.
Moreover, Airbus has also been benefited lately because of crisis surrounding its biggest rival Boeing. The U.S. aviation giant has been marred in controversy for quite some time that has seen many airline companies ordering more from Airbus.