Published on April 5th, 2015 | by Jim Lee


Lufthansa cancels its 60th anniversary celebrations

On 31st March, Lufthansa announced that out of respect for the crash victims of flight 4U 9525, it was cancelling its 60th anniversary celebrations in the form originally planned for the 15th of April. Instead Lufthansa will provide a live broadcast for its employees, of the official state ceremony in Cologne Cathedral, where the bereaved families and friends will gather to remember the victims.

Carsten Spohr, the Chairman of the Executive Board & CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG and Thomas Winkelmann, the CEO of Germanwings subsequently visited the recovery workers and local residents in Seyne-les-Alpes to thank them personally for all their help and support following the loss of Germanwings flight 4U 9525.

“We have the greatest respect for the dedication and the professionalism with which people are working here to investigate and process this tragedy,” Carsten Spohr said. “We appreciate the immense psychological and physical strain that these helpers are working under. We cannot thank them enough.” Mr. Spohr further extended his sincere gratitude to the investigating authorities, and to the local residents near the accident site. 

“I would further like to mention the many helpers in Marseille, in Barcelona, in Düsseldorf, in Haltern and elsewhere,” added Thomas Winkelmann. “Volunteers from our own ranks are also supporting and caring for the bereaved. This is the least we can do at this time.” Mr Winkelmann had earlier posted a video on his airline’s facebook page expressing his sympathy for the victims and all those who helped and supported them at this difficult time.

Lufthansa and Germanwings continue to support the families and friends of the victims of flight 4U 9525 in every possible way. Immediately after the accident the companies provided help and care for the bereaved in Barcelona, Düsseldorf and Marseille. Since 28th March a Family Assistance Centre (FAC) has been established in Marseille as a central provider of such care and support. A total of 90 personnel have been assigned to the FAC until further notice, to offer the bereaved personal comfort and care and to assist and accompany them, if they wish to visit the Seyne-les-Alpes accident area. To date more than 200 relatives and friends of the victims have been supported by the three care centres.

Lufthansa has confirmed that the co-pilot of Germanwings flight 4U9525 interrupted his pilot training at the Flight Training Pilot School for several months. Thereafter the co-pilot received the medical certificate confirming his fitness to fly. In a statement “to ensure a swift and seamless clarification”, Lufthansa said that after further internal investigations, it had submitted additional documents to the Düsseldorf Public Prosecutor, particularly training and medical documents. These also include the email correspondence of the co-pilot with the Flight Training Pilot School. In this correspondence he informed the Flight Training Pilot School in 2009, in the medical documents he submitted in connection with resuming his flight training, about a “previous episode of severe depression”.

The statement added “Lufthansa will continue to provide the investigating authorities with its full and unlimited support. We therefore ask for your understanding that we cannot provide any further statements at this time, because we do not wish to anticipate the ongoing investigation by the Düsseldorf Public Prosecutor”. The airline had already confirmed that the co-pilot held a fully valid class 1 medical certificate during flight duty on 24th March 2015.

For the latest on the investigation are referred here to the Aviation Herald’s ongoing coverage.

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About the Author

Jim has had a life-long interest in military matters and aviation. Initially, he fused both of these interests together with a passion for military aviation, initially as a photographer. He has travelled extensively over the years and has been the guest of many European air forces, plus the air forces of the United States, Russia and others throughout the world. His first introduction to journalism coincided with an interest in the civil aviation industry was when he initially wrote for and later edited, ‘Aviation Ireland’, the club magazine of the Aviation Society of Ireland. Jim was a contributor to Flying in Ireland since its inception over 10 years ago and is now a key contributor to this site. He has also contributed items for a number of other aviation magazines and has produced a number of detailed contributions to Government policy documents, most recently the Irish Government’s White Paper on Defence. He is also deeply involved in the local community and voluntary sector and has worked both in local government and central government.

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