Lufthansa cancels 60th anniversary celebrations over Germanwings crash
FRANKFURT - Agence France-Presse
Germanwings and Lufthansa airplane are seen at Dusseldorf airport March 27, 2015. REUTERS PhotoLufthansa said March 31 it will cancel celebrations marking the German airline's 60th anniversary in the wake of last week's deadly crash of an Airbus jet from its low-cost subsidiary Germanwings.
"Out of respect for the crash victims of flight 4U9525, Lufthansa is cancelling the festivities for the 60th anniversary of the company, which were planned for April 15," the airline said in a statement.
A memorial service for the 150 people who died in last week's crash is being held in Cologne Cathedral on April 17.
And "instead of the planned celebrations, Lufthansa will provide a live broadcast for its employees of the official state ceremony, where the bereaved families and friends will gather to remember the victims," the statement said.
The Germanwings flight en route from Barcelona to Duesseldorf crashed on March 24.
Investigators analysing voice recorder data say co-pilot Andreas Lubitz apparently locked his captain out of the cockpit and slammed the plane into a French mountainside.
Lufthansa chief executive Carsten Spohr described the accident as the darkest day in the company's history.
Lufthansa has always enjoyed a reputation for technical competence and reliability, but analysts say the crash has dealt a heavy blow to its image. And in recent months, it has suffered bad press as a result of a long-running industrial dispute with its pilots.