By Mary Chastain
The German airline Germanwings cancelled numerous flights after crew
members refused to fly due to the tragic crash of Flight 9252 in the
“Some have refused their service for personal reasons, but not out of concern that something there is out of order,” explained the spokeswoman for Lufthansa, which owns Germanwings.
An unconfirmed report in Spiegel magazine claimed employees
refuse to fly “over concerns the crash may have been linked to a repair
to the nose-wheel landing doors.” But Lufthansa denies anything was
wrong with the plane.
“One must not forget: many of our Germanwings crews have known crew
members who were on board the crashed plane,” said Carsten Spohr, CEO of
Lufthansa. “It is now more important to ensure psychological assistance
if needed. And we will get back to a full flight operation as soon as
possible then. But for me, this is rather secondary now.”
Flight 9252 crashed on Tuesday just after 11AM, which killed all 150
people. It is the first fatal accident in Germanwings’ history.
“It has nothing to do with safety,” said Joerg Handwerg, the spokesman for the pilots’ union Vereinigung Cockpit.
“The pilots have friends and colleagues who have died. That is such a
heavy emotional burden that it’s better not to get into the cockpit.”
Germanwings cancelled 24 flights out of Dusseldorf Airport. The
airport released a statement that said six crew members spent the night
at the airport since they refused to fly. London’s Heathrow Airport, one
of the busiest in the world, confirmed several flights through them
“We understand their decision,” stated Germanwings spokesman Thomas Winkelmann.