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The two letters that make a 16 000km difference

International
Sydney - Austria and Australia are 16 000km and two keystrokes apart, as European aircraft manufacturer Airbus discovered to its chagrin this week.

The Financial Times, citing fine print in the company’s 2016 financial accounts, reported on Monday that Airbus was being investigated by authorities in Australia for offences such as bribery or fraud.

The Airbus accounts did indeed say Australia, but a company spokesperson said that was, in fact, a typographical error.

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A United Airlines Boeing 737-800 and United Airlines A320 Airbus on seen approach to San Francisco International Airport, San Francisco

“It should read Austria and not Australia,” he said.

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 $2 billion (R26.60 billion) order for the combat jet more than a decade ago.

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 countries.

Read also: Airbus sees African demand

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

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

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