Aircraft manufacturer Airbus has reportedly called off a book it commissioned to boost its 50th-anniversary golden jubilee blitz. This was allegedly done to settle an ongoing bribery probe, reports said.

The book, Airbus: The First 50 Years was written by Nicola Clark, a former journalist with the New York Times.

According to reports, the book’s sale was halted to avoid any embarrassment to the manufacturer while it was seeking an amicable settlement in the scandal probe.

The book chronicles the rise of Airbus as a European rival to Boeing braving many odds.

Allegations of using middle-men to procure orders

The probe pertains to allegations of using middle-men to procure orders for jetliners and other contracts.

The four-year internal probe was looking at deals of $400 million as a back up to support the Anglo-French investigation into the matter.

The probe is heading to a finale. Airbus already fired more than 100 people citing ethical and compliance issues when the internal probe was in progress.

The book has an exclusive chapter discussing the bribery scandal and the probe that is in progress.

According to sources Airbus was looking to present its findings to the UK Serious Fraud Office and France’s PNF police late this year.

Airbus is hoping that by assisting the probe internally and offering more transparency it would get a benign verdict and limit the penalty to heavy fines than a damaging ban on pursuing public contracts.

Why is Airbus worried about the book?

Airbus reportedly blocked the book’s sale because it felt the book’s position as an official publication amounts to a conflict of interest. It fears the book's promotion would boomerang while engaging the authorities and in taking positions on legal matters.

Airbus confirmed that it will not go ahead with the book. But denied the decision had anything to do with the bribery probe.

 “The investigation and the book are two separate topics,” the spokesman said.

The book’s author Clark also expressed disappointment. She told Reuters that the belated decision by Airbus to withdraw the book “deeply disappointed” her.

The book was first published on Amazon’s Kindle on May 29. But it was pulled back from online sales as well.

But some copies went into circulation and had a review from Leeham News, a website dealing with the aviation industry.

Airbus now says the version seen by the public could be a draft.

“The draft wasn’t consistent with our ambition for celebrating 50 years of pioneering progress,” the Airbus spokesman said.

But the surprised author responded that Airbus never told her that the book was only a draft before notifying its withdrawal.

Airbus set to become largest aircraft maker

Meanwhile, Airbus is ready to take the title as the world's largest aircraft maker this year in terms of the number of aircraft it delivered.

Airbus this year delivered 150 more jets than Boeing in the first six months of the year. Airbus' tally is 389 against Boeing’s 239, according to the latest sales figures.

Last year, Boeing delivered 806 aircraft to Airbus' 800.

The gap between the rivals is widening as Boeing was not able to deliver any of the 737 Max planes since March as the jets are grounded after the crash in Ethiopia.