Airbus Chief Operating Officer Gustav Humbert has been approved as the jet maker's next chief executive, The Wall Street Journal reported...

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Airbus Chief Operating Officer Gustav Humbert has been approved as the jet maker’s next chief executive, The Wall Street Journal reported on its Web site yesterday.

Citing an unnamed person close to the decision, The Journal said Humbert will succeed Noël Forgeard to become the European company’s first non-French chief executive.

The decision was approved by both European Aeronautic Defence & Space (EADS), which owns 80 percent of Airbus, and co-owner BAE Systems of Great Britain, the newspaper reported.

Forgeard and Thomas Enders, the German head of EADS’ defense division, will be co-chief executives of EADS, The Journal reported.

Computer crime

Israel accuses 18 of market espionage

Israeli authorities cracked a large industrial-espionage ring in which top business executives and investigators allegedly used sophisticated software to infiltrate their competitors’ computers, police said yesterday.

The investigation implicated car importers, cellphone providers and Israel’s main satellite-television company.

Police have 18 people in custody, including the software programmers, an Israeli couple.

Police said a computer programmer developed software for three of Israel’s largest private-investigation firms. The firms then sneaked the program into the computers of their clients’ major competitors via e-mail attachments, gaining complete access to rivals’ computers.

Rivals lost competitive bids and thousands of customers, police said.


World’s carriers could see $6 billion in losses

Global airlines losses this year may widen 9 percent to $6 billion as they pay more for fuel, the International Air Transport Association said today at an industry meeting in Tokyo.

Airlines may pay $83 billion this year for fuel, 31 percent more than last year’s $63 billion, said Giovanni Bisignani, director-general of the industry group.

The combined loss of the global aviation industry may widen from the $5.5 billion forecast made last month, the group said.


Software developer wants to go legitimate

The developer of software that vastly speeds up the Internet downloading of big audio and video files has launched an advertising-supported search engine to help people find movies and music online.

Bellevue’s Bram Cohen, developer of the program BitTorrent, said the search service would carry sponsored advertising links provided through Ask Jeeves, according to Wired News, which saw a demonstration last week.

BitTorrent has become notorious for facilitating piracy.

Cohen said he is eager to demonstrate it has lawful uses and can be important now that anyone can produce and distribute their own audio and video programming.

Last week, the FBI and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced they had shut , a Web site offering copyright content to 133,000 members.

The latest Star Wars movie was available more than six hours before it was first shown in theaters. Within 24 hours it was copied more than 10,000 times, according to The Washington Post.

US Airways

Wellington investing in America West deal

Investment fund Wellington Management will invest $150 million in America West Holdings and US Airways Group once the airlines, a court filing said.

Wellington joins other investors that have offered $350 million to help finance the deal. The airlines announced plans to combine May 19.

The outside capital is needed to complete the merger and bring US Airways out of bankruptcy. America West didn’t have enough cash to acquire US Airways on its own.

The airlines, which plan to operate under the US Airways name, said they expect to save about $600 million a year.

The Wellington investment brings the total new equity secured for the deal to $500 million.

Compiled from The Associated Press, Bloomberg News and