Tag Archives: Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr

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:

 

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Germanwings pilot Andreas Lubitz hid a medical illness from the airline

Andreas Lubitz

German investigators have discovered a medical leave note from a doctor issued for Germanwings first officer Andreas Lubitz (above) that included the day of the French Alps crash, the Dusseldorf public prosecutor’s office said, according to CNN.

Lubitz tore up the medical leave slips and kept the undisclosed illness secret from his employer. It is suspected the illness could have prevented him from advancing in his aviation career.

Note: The German prosecutor has just confirmed it was a medical illness (not a mental condition). It has been reported he was deemed “unfit for work” and was hiding this information according to German investigators.

Read the full story from CNN: CLICK HERE

Video message by 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:

 

Lufthansa hands over an Airbus A340-300 for the transport of Ebola patients

 

Lufthansa logo-2

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) has turned over an Airbus A340-300 for Ebola patient humanitarian evacuation flights by the German government. Airbus A340-313 D-AIGZ (msn 347) has been converted from a passenger aircraft to this special transport aircraft. The airline issued this statement:

Federal Foreign Minister Dr Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Federal Minister of Health Hermann Gröhe accepted receipt of the world’s first evacuation aircraft for transporting and treating Ebola patients on behalf of the German government.

Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr handed over an Airbus A340-300 for its new role in Berlin on Thursday (November 27). At the request of the Federal Foreign Office, Lufthansa Technik spent the last few weeks converting what was previously a passenger aircraft called the “Villingen-Schwennigen” so that it could be used for this special humanitarian mission. Under its new name, the “Robert Koch”, it now serves as the world’s only evacuation facility for highly contagious patients. Unlike the smaller aircraft that have been sporadically available to date, the facility can provide comprehensive intensive care on board. The Lufthansa Group was able to complete such a complex and technically demanding undertaking so quickly because the airline was in a position to provide a long-haul aircraft at short notice that was suitable for the specific requirements of the project. As a global leader in aviation technology, Lufthansa Technik also has a wealth of experience in installing a diverse range of non-standard cabin interiors on aircraft for governments, VIPs and the business travel sector. It was able to draw on this expertise for the construction and installation of the special isolation unit in the aircraft cabin. The aircraft conversion, which started on November 17 in Hamburg, was carried out in partnership with the Robert Koch Institute (RKI).

In the middle and rear of the long-haul aircraft, passenger seats, kitchen and washing areas, and baggage lockers were removed to make way for a patient transport isolation unit surrounded by an airtight tent with negative pressure. Inside, medics can provide patients with intensive care and treatment during the flight while remaining fully protected. Two exterior tents, which are also airtight, serve as buffers so that the treatment tent can be entered and exited safely. At the front of the cabin, there are still seats for up to 19 passengers such as doctors, attendants from the RKI, isolation tent technicians and a Lufthansa engineer. Within a short space of time, a total of more than 700 pilots and flight attendants volunteered as cockpit and cabin crew for the “Robert Koch” humanitarian project, which will initially run for six months.

Lufthansa aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show