Saturday 3 December 2016

Families of Germanwings crash victims attack 'deeply offensive' compensation offer

David Kearns

Published 21/07/2015 | 14:53

A memorial, carved in French, German, Spanish and English, in memory of the victims of the Germanwings Airbus A320 crash
A memorial, carved in French, German, Spanish and English, in memory of the victims of the Germanwings Airbus A320 crash

The families who lost children in the Germanwings air disaster in March have accused airline’s parent company Lufthansa of ignoring their needs in a scathing letter.

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Relatives of 18 pupils and teachers from a single German school who died in the crash said the airline’s CEO Carsten Spohr had dismissed their suffering and had made no attempt to contact them.

In a letter sent directly to Mr Spohr, they claimed the airline had not done enough to help them, and that its offer of compensation was “deeply offensive”.

“We had expected to hear an apology from Lufthansa at some point in these difficult days,” the letter reads, according to the newspaper Bild which has seen a copy.

“Parents who personally invited you to the funeral of their child did not even get a response from you.” 

The letter comes amid negotiations with Lufthansa, Germanwings' parent airline, over compensation.

Andreas Lubitz, pictured in 2009, appeared to have practiced a controlled descent on his flight into Barcelona just two hours before he is believed to have crashed the A320 jet into a mountainside on the return flight to Dusseldorf (AP)
Andreas Lubitz, pictured in 2009, appeared to have practiced a controlled descent on his flight into Barcelona just two hours before he is believed to have crashed the A320 jet into a mountainside on the return flight to Dusseldorf (AP)

Lufthansa has offered around €100,000 per family, depending upon its size.

The group behind the letter represents the 18 pupils and teachers from the same school who were killed alongside 132 others when their Airbus 320 crashed into the French Alps.

It is believed Andreas Lubitz, the co-pilot, deliberately flew the aircraft into the ground after locking the captain out of the cockpit.

The families said in their letter the offer: "deeply insults us, and above all else our children.

“What you offered us parents in recognition of our suffering is simply unacceptable.

“To measure the life of each of our children and our pain at €45,000 (£31,000) is deeply offensive to us, and above all to our children," the relatives said.

“This is the amount you are personally paid every working week as a salary by Lufthansa. Every week.

"A payment from Lufthansa cannot give us back our children,” the letter goes on.

“But you can help us with a little bit of the everyday life concerns that are an additional burden to us in our pain.

“Every morning the violent death of our children is our first thought. Every evening our last. At night, many of us cannot sleep properly.”

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