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Airbus, and what a difference two keystrokes can make

Austria and Australia are only two keystrokes apart, but mixing them up is not advisable as European plane manufacturer Airbus has had to admit. It's happened to others before, though, media reports reveal.

Citing fine print in the company's 2016 accounts, the Financial Times reported that European aircraft manufacturer Airbus was still being investigated by authorities in Australia for offences ranging from bribery to fraud.

Reuters said Tuesday the Airbus documents in question did indeed say Australia, but a company spokesman was quick to point out that it was "a typographical error."

"It should read Austria and not Australia," the news agency quoted him as saying.

In February, Airbus said prosecutors in Vienna had initiated a formal criminal investigation against Airbus and the Eurofighter consortium over alleged fraud related to a big order for the combat jet more than a decade ago.

In good company

The typo in the Airbus accounts is the latest in a series of mix-ups between the two similarly named, but culturally distinct and geographically distant nations. Or, as Reuters puts it, "They are 16,000 km (9,940 miles) and two keystrokes apart.

Watch video 03:36

Industry heavyweight Airbus

Global news network CNN was mocked by Twitter users last year for reporting Australia was building a fence on its Slovenian border.

And back in 2014, then UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon mistakenly offered his gratitude to hosts Australia when he spoke at a conference in Vienna, Austria.

The Airbus spokesman did not know whether his company planned to file a new set of accounts with regulators - without the geographical gaffe.

hg/rd (Reuters, FT, afr.com)

 

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