Lufthansa Sets Aside $300 Million For Germanwings Crash Expenses
Lufthansa Airlines today confirmed a report in a German newspaper that its insurance companies are setting aside $300 million for expenses related to the crash last week of Germanwings Flight 9525.
Lufthansa is the parent company of the low-cost carrier.
The question is, is $300 million going to be enough?
That breaks down to a little over $2 million per passenger to the families of the 149 victims – not counting co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, whom prosecutors allege locked the captain out of the cockpit and manually set the plane on a descent into the French Alps mountainside.
Lufthansa spokeswoman Kerstin Lau told NBC News that $300 million is the amount currently reserved to deal with "all costs arising in connection with the case."
Any compensation paid to the relatives of the victims will be on top of the financial aid Lufthansa already offered to the families – 50,000 euros, or roughly just over $54,000 per passenger. The immediate aid to the families was for expenses associated with the deaths of their loved ones.
"The families of the victims can expect all support from Lufthansa: emotional support first and foremost, and then there is an initial financial compensation of 50,000 euros offered to families for each passenger who died in the crash," Lufthansa spokesman Boris Ogursky told NBC News on Saturday. "This is to offer the families immediate support to help them in this major change in life. They shouldn't have to face a financial problem and they need not worry about paying it back."
Lufthansa has paid for family members to fly to France and travel to the base of the crash site to grieve and have some closure. Lufthansa has also paid for the accommodations of the family members. International aviation rules automatically enable victims’ families to receive $150,000 in the event of a tragedy, and it does not prevent the families from filing lawsuits and making further claims against the airlines.
Whether this $300 million will be enough to cover what is expected to be several – if not dozens – of lawsuits remains to be seen.
More by Rich Thomaselli
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