Germanwings insurers are all set to pay $300 million worth of expenses incurred due to last week’s plane crash.
According to an email correspondence by the lead insurer, Allianz SE, costs for the lost jet and associated investigation expenses along with claims by victims’ families would be preliminarily covered.
On Tuesday, the owner of Germanwings, Deutsche Lufthansa AG, stated that the co-pilot, believed by prosecutors to have deliberately caused Flight 9525 crash into the French Alps, had informed the airline about his depression six years ago.
As estimated by legal experts, the financial claims by victims’ families are worth $350 million. To cover immediate expenses, an amount of $53,760 has already been offered to the families.
According to an AirInsight consultant, the present issue revolves around what and when Lufthansa knew about the condition of this pilot and what steps were taken as a follow up. The consultant further suggested the review of German laws. Whenever a person’s job performance has an effect on others’ safety and that person is diagnosed with such a disorder, information should be shared with authorities to ensure public safety.
Lufthansa acknowledged on Tuesday that it knew of 27-year-old Andreas Lubitz’s mental illness many years ago when he recommenced his studies in the flight training school in 2009, informing about his previous state of severe depression.
The only other evidence of Lufthansa’s knowledge regarding the pilot’s condition came to light last week as Carsten Spohr, CEO, revealed that Lubitz had stopped training for a number of months.
On 24th March, Allianz announced its AGCS industrial insurance unit to be the lead insurer catering to the crash, and the coverage is being shared with many co-insurers.
German prosecutors found out that in the past, Lubitz had undergone treatment for suicidal tendencies. The probable motive is still not known although voice recordings indicate that the captain was locked before Lubitz crashed the plane, killing himself, 149 passengers and other members of the crew.
It may be that Lubitz suffered a mental condition threatening an end to his career. The day the crash happened, he was medically unfit to fly, but did not share his condition with his employers, as stated by investigators.
Lufthansa’s acknowledgement on Tuesday still did not answer numerous questions like whether the flight school knew of Lubitz’s suicidal tendencies, or whether the medical staff knew of his past depression.
Lubitz joined the school in 2008, but had to repeat the selection procedure as well as medical tests when he resumed in 2009. As stated by airline spokesperson Thomas Jachnow, in-house medical examinations are conducted by certified aeromedical examiners in Frankfurt at Lufthansa’s main base. Below 10 percent applicants clear the exams.
Lufthansa is providing training details, medical documents and e-mail correspondence to prosecutors with an assurance of continual support.