Families mark Germanwings crash anniversary

Families mark Germanwings crash anniversary

Commemoration ceremonies are being held in France and Germany to mark the first anniversary of the deliberate crashing of a Germanwings flight in the French Alps, claiming the lives of all 150 on board.

More than 600 relatives of the victims are gathering in the Alpine village of Le Vernet, including the heads of the Germanwings parent company Lufthansa, Thomas Winkelmann and Carsten Spohr, to observe a minute’s silence on Thursday.

In Haltern, a town in Germany’s Ruhr region, ceremonies were being held to remember the 16 pupils and two female teachers of the local Joseph Koenig school.

They were on their way home aboard Flight 4U9525 when co-pilot Andreas Lubitz put the plane into a shallow dive, crashing it into a mountainside some 3km east of Le Vernet.

Lubitz, who was 27, crashed the Airbus A320 on March 24, 2015 as it was flying from Barcelona to Dusseldorf. Of those aboard the budget airline flight, 72 were from Germany and 51 from Spain.

Church bells in Haltern rang at 10.41 am, the time when the plane crashed, as an ecumenical service was held in the town’s central square.

The ceremony in Le Vernet was being kept strictly private. Several relatives were also heading into the mountain terrain to view the site of the crash.

Another ceremony was being held at Dusseldorf airport, the intended destination of the flight. “We will never forget this tragic day on which so many people had their lives taken from them senselessly,” a notice printed in local newspapers said.

Ahead of Thursday’s ceremony, Spohr said he was willing to look into a “constructive solution” to the case.

“From the start we said we would show generosity, and we have shown generosity in the first year,” he said in Le Vernet.

The company has paid out 50,000 euros ($A74,000) for each victim. A further 25,000 euros is to be paid, and next-of-kin are to receive 10,000 euros.

Court proceedings are being initiated in the United States centring on the Lufthansa training facility in Arizona. Lubitz interrupted his training there in 2009 owing to mental health problems.

Lawyers for the victims say he should not have been allowed to resume training to be a pilot.

Email the Travel Weekly team at traveldesk@travelweekly.com.au

    Latest comments
airlines aviation disaster Germanwings safety

Latest News

  • Cruise

Cruise Traveller’s new Scottish Highlands cruise tour package

Australian small ship cruising specialist, Cruise Traveller, offers a 20-night land and sea holiday in the UK aboard the Lord of the Glens. The tiny cruise line’s 52-guest boutique vessel, Lord of the Glens, is purpose-built to explore the intricate waterways and lochs of the Scottish Highlands. It boasts a rich, traditional ambience with polished […]

  • Cruise

Celebrity Xcel’s keel-laying ceremony in France, with 2025 inaugural sail planned

Construction has commenced on Celebrity Cruises’ next ship, Celebrity Xcel, with a keel-laying ceremony at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France. An Edge Series ship, Celebrity Xcel will set sail in autumn 2025, with several new yet-to-be-revealed offerings. At the ceremony, Jason Liberty, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean Group (RCG), the parent […]

  • Destinations
  • Tour Operators

Globus unveils nine new independent tours for 2025

Coach touring brand Globus has unveiled nine new independent tours for 2025, from Bangkok to Bali and Abu Dhabi to Nepal. “With Globus Independent tours, our guests are free to enjoy the many benefits of touring, untethered and unscheduled,” APAC head of marketing, Globus family of brands (GFOB), Chris Fundell said. “Providing hand-picked hotel accommodations, […]

  • Hotels

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group opens Mandarin Oriental Mayfair

The Mandarin Oriental has opened a second property in London, the Mandarin Oriental Mayfair, in the heart of historic Hanover Square. Designed by internationally renowned Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners, the hotel is the first new build in Mayfair in over a decade. Bringing a modern architectural approach to one of London’s most storied squares, […]

  • Hotels

Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort unveils Coral Kids Club

On top of its US$85 million (AU$150m) transformation, Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort’s new Coral Kids Club provides an engaging activity centre for kids. Designed for keiki (children), ages 5-12, the activity centre offers daily cultural workshops with hands-on activities rooted around the Āina Guardian workbook. It was developed by Candes Gentry, co-author of Eat […]

  • Hotels

Minor Hotels announces fourth franchised hotel

Minor Hotels has added to its portfolio of more than 500 hotels in operation after signing Oaks Melbourne on William Suites as its fourth franchised hotel. The 220-room apartment hotel is the third Oaks property signed under a franchise model after the Oaks Toowoomba and Oaks Townsville Metropole. The proven success of these properties highlights […]

  • Destinations

Phuket unveils cutting-edge medical facility

Minor Hotels has announced Layan Life by Anantara, a world-class medical wellness facility that is set to elevate Phuket’s reputation as an international medical wellness destination. The new facility is set across 1,767sqm within the grounds of Anantara Layan Phuket Resort and is set to open in Q3 of this year. It offers a blend […]

  • Events

Out West Piano Fest comes alive in Bathurst

The three-day symphony of the senses comes back to Bathurst, at picturesque Blackdown Farm, as Out West Piano Fest returns 25-27 October. Located just five minutes away from Bathurst NSW is a pastoral heritage, art, and culture. It was also once home to Australian artist, Tim Storrier. The extensive gardens in full spring bloom offer […]

  • Attractions
  • Cruise

Japan in Bloom with Cruise Express

Send clients out to experience the best of the Land of the Rising Sun with Cruise Express and their Japan in Bloom expedition, a 21-night adventure. As interest in Japan hits an all-time high, Cruise Express is pleased to announce its ultimate Japanese bucket list trip. This adventure is geared for Australians wanting to tick […]

  • Road & Rail

Explore Uzbekistan with Golden Eagle Luxury Trains

Golden Eagle Luxury Trains presents an exclusive itinerary to Uzbekistan with ensuite cabins, a personal cabin attendant, and off-train excursions. Travelling aboard the opulent Golden Eagle train, with ensuite cabins, guests will dive deep into Uzbekistan’s spectacularly global cultural identity. A personal cabin attendant, all porterage and gratuities and all off train excursions are included […]

  • Destinations
  • Partner Content

Year-round beauty awaits you in the Emerald Ilse

Feel like you've been hard on luck lately? Perhaps a trip to the Emerald Isle could help you steal some off the Irish.

Partner Content

by Travel Weekly

Travel Weekly