Category Archives: Lufthansa

Lufthansa reverses course, will now adopt a “two person” cockpit rule

Lufthansa black logo

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) has shifted its previous position and will now adopt a “two person” cockpit policy according to CNN for the entire Lufthansa Group. Yesterday in a press conference, Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr stated he felt their current procedures were sufficient although he left open the possibility the group would discuss this policy with German authorities. While having a second person in the cockpit at all times is not the complete answer, it may have prevented the Germanwings tragic crash.

Lufthansa issued this statement:

In coordination with the Luftfahrtbundesamt (Germany’s aviation authority), the other German airlines and the German aviation industry association (Bundesverband der deutschen Luftverkehrswirtschaft), the airlines of the Lufthansa Group are to adopt a new cockpit occupancy procedure as a precautionary measure. Under the new procedure, two authorized persons must be present in the cockpit at all times during a flight.

The passenger airlines of the Lufthansa Group will adopt the new procedure as soon as possible, in due consultation with their national aviation authority.

The Lufthansa Group is also expanding its safety structures. In addition to the safety pilots at each of its member airlines, the new position of Group Safety Pilot has been created until further notice. The new post will be assumed with immediate effect by Captain Werner Maas, who will hold it in parallel with his current function as Safety Pilot of Deutsche Lufthansa AG. Captain Maas will have overarching groupwide responsibility for examining and further refining all flight safety-relevant procedures in his new capacity, in which he reports directly to Group CEO Carsten Spohr.

Related to this, our informal poll yesterday showed our readers favored this change by almost a nine to one ratio. There was strong public pressure on Lufthansa (and other airlines) to make this change.

As we previously reported, Norwegian, easyJet and Air Malta have already made this change. Air Canada, WestJet, Virgin Atlantic, Emirates and Airberlin have also adopted this policy. Ryanair, following the lead of the FAA and U.S. airlines, already had this policy in place before the accident.

CNN’s interview with Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr:

 

Lufthansa CEO and Germanwings CEO: We are “speechless and shocked”

Germanwings #indeepsorrow

Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr and Germanwings CEO Thomas Winkelmann just held a press conference in Cologne, Germany. Both CEOs (translated from German) said they were “speechless” and “shocked” at the latest developments. CEO Spohr confirmed the French prosecutor’s conclusion that the First Officer (FO) Andreas Lubitz, 28, denied access to the cockpit to the Captain and intentionally activated the descent and crashed the Germanwings Airbus A320 into the mountain.

FO Lubitz began training in 2008 and was hired in September 2013 and had 630 hours flying time. FO Lubitz passed all flight and medical tests. FO Lubitz “interrupted” his training for unknown reasons (but this is not uncommon). Lufthansa Group pilots do not go through psychological testing.

According to Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr, FO Andreas Lubitz was “100% fit to fly”. He continued, it remains a mystery and they have no idea why the FO would do this.

Andreas Lubitz

Above Photo: First Officer Andreas Lubitz on his Facebook page.

CEO Spohr also confirmed the pilot in the cockpit could override the code by keeping the door locked.

Unlike U.S. airlines, Lufthansa and Germanwings do not have a procedure to prevent a pilot from being alone in the cockpit. When asked if they would change their procedure to have a Flight Attendant enter the cockpit when one of the pilots leaves the cockpit, CEO Spohr said he did not see the need to change their current procedures but would review all of its cockpit procedures with experts.

Should European airlines have a “two person” cockpit rule? Please vote in the informal poll below:

 

Breaking News: Brice Robin: The Germanwings First Officer “accelerated the descent” in a “deliberate attempt to destroy the aircraft”

Germanwings #indeepsorrow

Brice Robin, Marseille Public Prosecutor, has just held a live press conference in Marseille (Marselles in English), France. According to the prosecutor, First Officer Andreas Lubitz, 28, a German citizen, intentionally locked the cockpit door and locked out the Captain. According to the prosecutor, the First Officer “accelerated the descent” to “deliberately attempt to destroy the aircraft”. The First Officer was heard to be breathing normally, eliminating the medical emergency theory.

Screams were heard by passengers at the end as the Airbus A320 slammed into the mountain.

150 people died in the tragic crash.

Since the accident is now an apparent crime, the BEA (Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses pour la sécurité de l’aviation civile), the Police and the Public Prosecutor will continue the investigation.

BEA logo

New York Times: One Germanwings pilot was locked out of the cockpit before the crash

Germanwings #indeepsorrow

French investigators struggled according to the New York Times to explain why one Germanwings pilot was locked out of the cockpit before the tragic crash. French investigators announced this dramatic turn of factual events after reviewing the cockpit voice recorder. One pilot left the cockpit before the descent started. The locked-out pilot is heard banging on the door to attempt to gain entrance.

Lufthansa and Germanwings have not yet officially commented on this stunning report. French investigators did go further in trying to explain the odd actions.

A news conference is now scheduled for March 26.

New York Times logo

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

The New York Times has published a follow-up report: CLICK HERE

Lufthansa has issued this statement:

Lufthansa will offer special flights to Marseille for the next of kin of flight 4U 9525 passengers.

Airline to provide two special flights from Barcelona and Dusseldorf to Marseille.
Lufthansa will provide two special flights to Marseille for the relatives and friends of passengers of Germanwings flight 4U 9525. The flights operated by Lufthansa on behalf of Germanwings will depart Dusseldorf en route to Marseille tomorrow at 8.40 CET and take off from Barcelona to Marseille at 8.45 CET. Relatives and friends will be taken care of by Lufthansa and Germanwings employees at a special assistance center in Marseille.

Germanwings and Lufthansa will continue to provide all the care and assistance needed by relatives and friends of passengers of flight 4U 9525 in this difficult situation.

French investigators reach the Germanwings crash site, all 150 dead, weather is an issue today

Germanwings #indeepsorrow

French investigators reached the rugged mountain crash site of Germanwings flight 4U 9525 late yesterday afternoon (March 24). All 150 people on board are dead including 67 Germans and 45 Spaniards. The remains of the crashed Airbus A320-211 D-AIPX (msn 147) is scattered on the mountainside in the French Alps as the airliner smashed into the mountain located between Digne and Barcelonnette, France.

None of the remains have been recovered due to the harsh weather conditions today. Snow is forecasted for the remote area today.

The priority today will be the recovery of the remains.

Lufthansa and Germanwings called for a minute’s silence today at 10.53 a.m. to commemorate the victims of 4U 9525.

According to Airbus, the ill-fated A320-211 (D-AIPX, msn 147) was “delivered to Lufthansa from the production line in 1991. The aircraft had accumulated approximately 58,300 flight hours in some 46,700 flights. It was powered by CFM 56-5A1 engines.”

According to CNN, “The cockpit voice recorder recovered from the crash site is damaged, but officials will be able to reconstruct it in the coming hours, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve told French radio station RTL.”

The flight data recorder is reportedly still missing.

There was no distress call from the cockpit.

Read the full report from CNN: CLICK HERE

Lufthansa, on behalf of its subsidiary Germanwings, issued this statement:

We must confirm to our deepest regret that Germanwings Flight 4U 9525 from Barcelona to Düsseldorf has suffered an accident over the French Alps. The flight was being operated with an Airbus A320 aircraft, and was carrying 144 passengers and six crew members.

Lufthansa and Germanwings have established a telephone hotline. The toll-free 00800 11 33 55 77 number is available to all the families of the passengers involved for care and assistance.
Everyone at Germanwings and Lufthansa is deeply shocked and saddened by these events. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the passengers and crew members.

“We do not know exactly what happened to Flight 4U 9525. Our thoughts are now with all the relatives and friends of our passengers and crew. We will do everything possible in order to provide further information.”

Carsten Spohr

Meanwhile, Lufthansa’s pilots have called off for now any further strikes against Lufthansa or Germanwings.

Video: Raw footage of the crash site:

 

Germanwings Airbus A320 crashes in the French Alps, 150 on board

 

Germanwings (2nd) (Cologne/Bonn) flight 4U 9525 with 144 passengers (including two infants) and six crew members on board (numbers updated) has crashed in the rugged French Alps (near Digne-les-Bains and the Grenoble Airport) at approximately 6,500 fleet and around 1037 local time. The pictured Airbus A320-211 D-AIPX (msn 147) was being operated on the flight between Barcelona and Dusseldorf. The flight had descended 14,000 feet in six minutes. No distress call was sent by the crew (correcting previous statements by the media). French radar contact was then lost at 1053. The airliner apparently slammed into the mountain according to flight tracking services.

Debris has been cited by a helicopter in the mountainous terrain and survivors are “not likely”. Human remains are tragically scattered over the crash site. The debris field is contained in about four acres and there is no piece larger than a car. It is difficult to get to the remote crash scene and retrieve the bodies and parts of D-AIPX. The flight data recorder has been sighted in the debris.

Lufthansa black logo

Lufthansa stated on Twitter (the two logos have changed to black in respect for the dead):

“…on 4U 9525. If our fears are confirmed, this is a dark day for Lufthansa. We hope to find survivors.“ Carsten Spohr 2/2

Lufthansa later issued this statement:

We must confirm to our deepest regret that Germanwings Flight 4U 9525 from Barcelona to Düsseldorf has suffered an accident over the French Alps. The flight was being operated with an Airbus A320 aircraft, and was carrying 144 passengers and six crew members.

Lufthansa and Germanwings have established a telephone hotline. The toll-free 00800 11 33 55 77 number is available to all the families of the passengers involved for care and assistance.

Everyone at Germanwings and Lufthansa is deeply shocked and saddened by these events. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the passengers and crew members.

According to CNN:

A Germanwings Airbus A320 plane crashed Tuesday in the foothills of the Alps in southeastern France, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls told reporters.

Valls said he fears those aboard the flight from Barcelona, Spain, to Dusseldorf, Germany — 142 passengers and six crew members — may be dead. A short time later, Germanwings executives said that there were at least 150 people aboard, 144 of whom were passengers.

French President Francois Hollande also said no survivors were expected. The plane crashed near Digne-les-Bains, in the Alpes de Haute Provence region, Valls said.

“The conditions of the accident are not yet clear but lead us to believe there will be no survivors,” Hollande said.

Spanish King Felipe VI said there was a “high number of Spaniards, Germans and Turks” on the doomed Germanwings flight.

Mariano Rajoy, Spain’s Prime Minister, tweeted that he will return to Madrid, put together a “crisis team” and send a minister to France.

Germanwings black logo

Read the full report from CNN: CLICK HERE

Read the full report from the BBC: CLICK HERE

We will continue to update as news is received. Updated 1235 EDT.

Top Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Ill-fated Airbus A320-211 D-AIPX (msn 147) departs from Tenerife Sur before the tragic crash in the French Alps. The airliner was originally delivered new to Lufthansa February 5, 1991.

Below Copyright Photo: Arnd Wolf/AirlinersGallery.com. D-AIPX when it was with Lufthansa.

Google Map: The A320 crashed near Digne-les-Bains, France.

Germanwings 4U 9525 map copy

 

 

 

Lufthansa Group announces its new summer holiday destinations

Lufthansa Group (Frankfurt) has announced new holiday destinations with this statement:

The airlines in the Lufthansa Group Airlines – Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Germanwings, Lufthansa and Swiss – will become even more attractive to holidaymakers and leisure travelers this upcoming summer. The airlines’ offer will be added above all with popular tourist and leisure-orientated destinations. Passengers will therefore be able to count on the high-quality service and dependability of a scheduled airline. During the summer holidays, many tourist destinations will be bolstered with further seasonal connections. Additional flights are planned to be added to existing city connections. This is good news especially for business travelers. They will be more flexible in managing their appointments.

The forthcoming 2015 summer flight timetable sees airlines in the Lufthansa Group offer their customers the densest route network in the world with more than 22,500 flights every week. Including the seasonal routes this summer, the Lufthansa Group airlines will be linking 321 destinations in 103 countries on four continents via its hubs in Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich, Vienna and Brussels, but also with many point-to-point routes (previous summer: 294 destinations in 101 countries). Over 18,100 code-share flights with 32 partner airlines extend the flight schedule of all Lufthansa Group Airlines and offer an virtually world-wide network. The summer flight timetables for the individual Group airlines are valid from Sunday, 29 March to Saturday, 25 October 2015.

Key news from the five Lufthansa Group airlines:

Lufthansa

Lufthansa will have a total of 215 destinations in its summer timetable and further develops its extensive offer. Within Europe, Lufthansa adds the Polish industrial and commercial city of Bydgoszcz to the airline’s flight timetable in summer 2015 as a new destination from Frankfurt. In future, Lufthansa will operate a total of around 240 flights per week to one of its nine destinations in Poland. Its routes to neighboring Denmark will also be expanded to include the northern Danish city of Aalborg, which will be served by a non-stop flight from Frankfurt. The sun destinations Heraklion (Crete/Greece) and Seville (Spain) are other new additions to Lufthansa’s flight timetable. Flights to Heraklion will depart from Munich and to the capital of Andalusia will leave from the Lufthansa hubs in Frankfurt and Munich. Lufthansa customers will also be able to fly non-stop to Reykjavík (Iceland) from the two hubs for the first time. Bodrum (Aegean/Turkey) and Cagliari (Sardinia/Italy) are two existing seasonal destinations that are now connected to Frankfurt. Lufthansa will fly from Munich to Glasgow (Scotland/UK) and Perugia (Umbria/Italy) for the first time this summer. There will also be additional flights on existing Spanish connections from Frankfurt to Málaga, Palma de Mallorca and Valencia as well as from Munich to Bodrum. Customers will again be able to fly to the Egyptian capital Cairo from Munich, in addition to the existing route from Frankfurt.

The Airbus A380 (above), which has proved to be very popular among passengers, will be used on routes from Frankfurt to Los Angeles and Seoul once again in the summer. This will bring to eleven the number of destinations that Lufthansa flies to using the world’s largest passenger aircraft. On 25 September 2015, Lufthansa will launch its new intercontinental flight programme aimed specifically at leisure travelers. Tampa in the US state of Florida will be the first destination. An Airbus A340-300 will fly five times a week on this new year-round route to begin with. The other routes planned from Frankfurt – to Panama, Cancún, Malé and Mauritius – will be added this winter.

Germanwings

Above Copyright Photo: Germanwings Airbus A319-112 D-AKNJ (msn 1172) taxies at London Heathrow.

In its summer flight timetable, Germanwings is offering a total of 132 destinations in 31 countries from Berlin-Tegel, Dortmund, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Hanover, Cologne/Bonn and Stuttgart. Its flight connections from Düsseldorf to Athens (Greece), Jerez de la Frontera (Spain), Jersey and Reykjavík (Iceland) are all new. The airline is also adding two new routes from Düsseldorf in April to the Portuguese destinations of Porto and Faro. Its routes to France will be expanded as well to include the port city of Marseille. In future, it will fly non-stop from Berlin to Palermo (Sicily/Italy). There will be flights from Berlin and Hamburg to Izmir (Turkey) in the summer. Hamburg will also have a direct connection to Bari, the capital of Apulia. The new routes from Stuttgart to Nice, Amsterdam and Valencia will enhance the airline’s summer flight timetable. Cologne/Bonn to Priština (Kosovo) and Stuttgart to Tunis and to Tirana (Albania) will also be added as new routes during the summer holiday period.

Swiss International Air Lines

Above Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 HB-IJS (msn 782) approaches the runway at London (Heathrow).

Swiss is adding 34 new destinations to its summer flight timetable in 2015. 22 of them will be served from Zurich, such as Leipzig, Bilbao (Spain) and Gothenburg (Sweden). Customers will be able to fly to 12 new cities from Geneva, including Valencia and Dublin. The frequency of flights to various European cities and to San Francisco will also be increased. Swiss will thus be offering its customers 106 destinations (80 European and 26 intercontinental) in 49 countries in the summer.

Austrian Airlines

Above Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 OE-LBR (msn 1150) arrives at Zurich.

In summer 2015, Austrian Airlines will be offering its passengers a wide range of up to 130 destinations in 58 countries. In 2015, the Austrian domestic carrier will be increasing its focus on holiday destinations. For example, Menorca (Balearics/Spain) will be newly added to the flight timetable in June 2015, as will Miami in October 2015. From summer 2015, all of Austrian’s destinations in North America will be served from Vienna up to daily. From March 2015, Odessa (Ukraine) will be included once again as another destination in Austrian’s focus market of Eastern Europe.

Brussels Airlines

Above Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Brussels Airlines Airbus A319-112 OO-SSQ (msn 3790) prepares to land in London’s Heathrow Airport.

This summer, Belgium’s leading carrier Brussels Airlines is adding ten new European destinations to its flight timetable from Brussels. These include destinations popular with tourists such as the three new French airports in Bordeaux, Lourdes-Pyrénées and Calvi (Corsica). Other holiday locations like Dubrovnik and Zagreb (both in Croatia), St. Petersburg (Russia), Olbia (Sardinia/Italy) and Ibiza (Balearics/Spain) will enhance the route network of Brussels Airlines. New city destinations such as Riga (Latvia) and Billund (Denmark) will be served by non-stop flights from Brussels. The carrier will also resume its long-haul service to Washington in the summer and its existing African route to Yaoundé (Cameroon) will operate daily.

Top Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-841 D-AIML (msn 149) is pictured on final approach at Miami International Airport.

Lufthansa aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

Germanwings aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

Swiss aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

Austrian Airlines aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

Brussels Airlines aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

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