Siddharth Vikram Philip, Sabah Meddings, and Supriya Singh, reporting for Bloomberg News: As chief commercial officer of aircraft-parts supplier AOG Technics, Ray Kwong can look back on a well-rounded career at A-list companies including All Nippon Airways, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Nissan Motor. That, at least, is Kwong’s two-decade corporate journey on what appears to be his LinkedIn profile, from which the self-proclaimed executive beams with a broad smile and striped tie in blue hues. Trouble is that — much like the company for which Kwong now claims to work — not all is as it seems. Kwong, if he even exists, was never employed at Nissan, or at ANA for that matter. Neither company has records of him as a former worker, they said in response to queries by Bloomberg News. His employment history could also not be verified at Mitsubishi. What is used as his profile picture turns out to be a stock photo that’s also washed up elsewhere on the Internet, from promotional material for a German textile startup to a clinic in Northbrook, Illinois.
After Bloomberg reported on the case of bogus jet-engine repair parts being investigated by regulators, a deeper dive into AOG revealed that the fabrication not only concerned components, but extended to major aspects of the company behind the scandal. The proliferation of undocumented parts has sent shock waves through an industry where every component requires verification to ensure aircraft safety, leaving manufacturers, operators and authorities scrambling to determine the fallout. The parts supplied by AOG went into engines that power many older-generation Airbus SE A320 and Boeing 737 planes, by far the most widely flown category of commercial aircraft. These single-aisle jets are used by millions of passengers each day and by most airlines, mainly on short-haul flights. Airbus said it’s aware of media reports surrounding AOG, while Boeing said it will defer to regulators on the topic.