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Lufthansa: more questions over flight 9525

Friday, March 27, 2015 - 02:27

More is being uncovered about the mental state of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, who is believed to have deliberately caused the Alps crash, leaving 150 people dead. Katie Gregory reports on how the uncertainty is impacting the airlines at the centre of the disaster: Germanwings and parent company Lufthansa.

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Raiding the home of Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz - police uncovered torn up sick notes, even one for the day of the crash. Reports suggest the man accused of deliberately steering flight 4U9525 into this mountainside in the French Alps - suffered bouts of depression and spent a year receiving psychiatric treatment. State Prosecutor Christoph Kumpa. (SOUNDBITE) (German) STATE PROSECUTOR, CHRISTOPH KUMPA, SAYING: "The fact that there were torn up sick notes, among other things, that were found, which were recent and even from the day of the crime, support the assumption based on the preliminary examination that the deceased hid his illness from his employer and his professional colleagues." The long-term financial impact on Germanwings parent company Lufthansa is starting to be considered. If it were confirmed the airline knew about Lubitz's medical condition, it might then face claims for negligence. And the uncertainty is already hurting Lufthansa - says Alastair McCaig from IG. (SOUNDBITE) (English) IG, MARKET COMMENTATOR, ALASTAIR MCCAIG, SAYING ; "Markets when faced with uncertainty tend to naturally migrate to the worst case conclusions and as such you can imagine that the share price will suffer even further as we speculate as to what fiscal damage this might ultimately impart on them." An international agreement generally limits airline liability to around $157,000 per passenger - in this case a total of around 23 million dollars... but families have the opportunity to pursue further damages in court. If unable to defend itself against negligence claims, Lufthansa could be up for a bill in the hundreds of millions, according to some aviation lawyers. Other airlines like Easyjet and Air Canada are altering their cockpit policies to make sure two crew members are at the helm at all times .... Lufthansa has confirmed it will follow suit. (SOUNDBITE) (English) IG, MARKET COMMENTATOR, ALASTAIR MCCAIG, SAYING; "It's arguable that they haven't done anything incorrectly at this point in time. It will undoubtedly hamper them but I think the broader view as far as European airlines are concerned certainly from a financial point of view they haven't been necessarily as sharp as they should have been." Lufthansa and others face another challenge too: how to convince air travellers a tragedy like this will never happen again.

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Lufthansa: more questions over flight 9525

Friday, March 27, 2015 - 02:27