Parents of Germanwings crash victims ‘insulted’ by Lufthansa

Victim impact on relatives of Germanwings crash seen as sternly avoided with ‘insulting’ payout and relatives demand apology from head firm Lufthansa

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Updated Jul 28, 2015

A letter written by parents of the victims of the Germanwings crash in Haltern, Germany on Monday said Lufthansa CEO, Carsten Spohr was not sincere and acted in a manner which placed importance to customers over them.  

Lufthansa Airlines issued a statement that said its CEO spoke with the families of the victims and that the airlines has vowed to pay those impacted from the crash up to $93,000 (85,000 euros).

A few months earlier, the French Bureau of Investigation and Analysis, BEA, which is in control of the investigations of the crash released a statement saying the co-pilot might have deliberately crashed the Airbus A320 plane into the French Alps, tracing reports detailing the co-pilot of practicing rapid descent on flight simulators.

French investigators have acknowledged a report at a preliminary hearing that the 27-year-old co-pilot Andreas Lubitz “intentionally” crashed the plane.

“Andreas Lubitz had great depression in the past and had seen doctors for at least 41 times over the last five years,” said a prosecutor.

Lubitz occasionally had appointment with doctors that he kept secret and it’s possible that he could only access to 30 percent of his eyesight, he added.

Last week, all the 150 deceased had been DNA identified and confirmed with their relatives. Their burial permits were signed too.

The prosecutor also announced that 30 bodies will be sent to their home countries and the unidentified body parts will be buried in the French town of Le Vernet, close to the crash site.

The parents of the 16 children who deceased as a result of the crash say the Lufthansa CEO did not apologise to them. The children were on a school excursion from Haltern.

The parents have raised complaints over the failure of the apology to allow a pilot with medical history to fly the plane and also for not enforcing a law that is implemented by many other airlines that oblige two pilots to be in the cockpit at all times.

The parents’ letter (written in German) was critical of the non-apologetic Spohr and his evasive attitude in disregarding invitations to the funeral and making a no-show.

"We have not heard from you," the letter said.

"A couple of personal words in conversation with you would have shown us that you weren't just there for the public but for us too," it added.

The letter also expressed a feeling of being disrespected, saying the reimbursement money offered "deeply insults us, and above all else our children."

A spokesperson for the Germanwings parent firm Lufthansa said Spohr exerted extra effort to talk to the families of the victims and attend numerous memorial services

"Mr Spohr was in touch with many relatives and friends and family of the victims but it's obvious that he was not able to be in personal touch with each and every one of the more than 1,000 relatives that we have,'' the spokesperson said.

Spohr had spoken to some of the parents of the children, he added.

The airline is still in the negotiation phase in deciding a payout to the families of the victims, initially offering 25,000 euros to the families and 10,000 euros additional payment to those of immediate next of kin of the deceased.

The 25,000 euros will be an additional payment on top of an initial handout of 50,000 euros of financial support, according to Reuters.

Lufthansa airlines earlier in April guaranteed 275 million euros to be put aside to cover the costs that may emerge as a result of the crash, including compensation for the victims’ families.

TRTWorld and agencies