Lufthansa promises long-term crash help

On a visit to the Germanwings flight 4U9525 crash site in France, Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr said that the company will do its utmost to help relatives of victims and local people near the crash site.

Lufthansa promises long-term crash help
Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr (r) and Germanwings CEO Thomas Winkelmann near the crash site on Wednesday. Photo: DPA

“We won't only help this week,” Spohr said, with Germanwings CEO Thomas Winkelmann at his side.

“We will help for as long as help is needed.”

He added that he remained deeply grief-stricken by the disaster and that “nothing will be as it was before.”

Spohr went on to say that he was “deeply impressed by the professionalism, the energy, the empathy and the sympathy” of the French rescue workers and local people, and promised to help them come to terms with the tragedy as well.

He and Winkelmann are expected to meet relatives of the victims later on Wednesday in Marseille.

The two executives did not take questions or comment on Tuesday's news that 4U9525 co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, suspected of having crashed the plane deliberately, had reported his depression to flight instructors before qualifying as a pilot.

Town plans memorial service

In North Rhine-Westphalia, the small town of Haltern am See will come together on Wednesday afternoon for a service in memory of local victims.

Two teachers and 16 pupils from the town's secondary school were killed in the Germanwings crash on their way home from a language exchange near Barcelona.

SEE ALSO: Video shows 'final moments' of plane crash

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Lufthansa fires up ‘jumbo jet’ for surge in German tourists bound for Mallorca

German airline Lufthansa said Friday it was taking "extraordinary measures" to meet surging bookings for the Spanish holiday island of Mallorca, deploying a jumbo jet to ferry passengers from Frankfurt.

Lufthansa fires up 'jumbo jet' for surge in German tourists bound for Mallorca
Tourists enjoy the first days of summer on the island of Mallorca. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/AP | Francisco Ubilla

The group said it had seen a jump in reservations from German sunseekers in recent weeks, as concerns about the pandemic ease thanks to falling infection numbers and vaccination progress across Europe.

To meet demand, Lufthansa said it would swap the 215-seat Airbus A321 that usually plies the Frankfurt-Mallorca route for its Boeing 747-8 “jumbo jet”.The 747, also known as the “Queen of the Skies”, can carry 364 people and is the largest plane in Lufthansa’s fleet.

The super-large planes normally fly transatlantic routes but have been
mostly grounded since the pandemic upended air travel.

READ ALSO: ‘I really needed a break’: Pandemic-weary Germans find freedom on Mallorca

“Lufthansa is taking extraordinary measures in order to respond to a significant increase in booking demand for flights to Palma de Mallorca,” the airline said in a statement.

The jumbo jet will be used for four weekends over July and August, it added, Europe’s key summer travel season.

Mallorca is one of the most popular tourist destinations for Germans and is sometimes affectionately referred to as Germany’s “17th state”.

Before the pandemic, around five million German tourists visited the island
each year.

READ ALSO: ‘Germans are coming back’: Spaniards sceptical over return of tourists