Germanwings insurer sets aside $300 million to pay victims′ families | News | DW | 31.03.2015
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Germanwings insurer sets aside $300 million to pay victims' families

Insurers for Lufthansa, the parent company of Germanwings, have set aside $300 million as compensation for the air crash in the French Alps that killed all 150 people on board last Tuesday.

Lufthansa said Tuesday the $300 million (279 million euros) figure included financial compensation for victims' families and the cost of the aircraft itself, which belonged to the budget airline carrier Germanwings.

The current price for an Airbus A320 is $93.9 million.

German financial daily newspaper Handelsblatt said the consortium of insurers is headed by German insurance giant Allianz, which was not prepared to comment on details of the compensation figure when contacted.

On Friday, Lufthansa offered victims' families up to 50,000 euros in immediate financial assistance. The money will be separate from the compensation the airline will have to pay over the disaster.

A Germanwings spokesperson told news agency AFP, the money would not be required to be paid back and would be over and above the compensation the airline will have to pay the families over last Tuesday's disaster.

'Suicidal tendencies'

German prosecutors said on Monday that the flight's co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, who has been blamed for last week's crash of a Germanwings passenger jet, had received psychotherapy treatment for suicidal tendencies before he became a pilot.

"Several years ago before obtaining his pilot's license, the co-pilot was in a long period of psychotherapeutic treatment with noticeable suicidal tendencies," said the prosecutor's office in Düsseldorf, the city where Lubitz lived and where the flight had been headed.

Chief prosecutor Ralf Herrenbrück said that Lubitz had not shown signs of suicidal behavior nor aggression since then.

"In the ensuing years and up until recently, he had doctors' visits and was written off sick but showed no sign of suicidal tendencies or aggression towards others," Herrenbrück said.

German prosecutors allege Lubitz hid the illness from his employer, but that "would not bring the exclusion clause in Lufthansa's insurance policy into play," a legal manager said on the condition of anonymity.

Meanwhile, bad weather is hampering helicopter access to the crash site, forcing teams to build a road to speed up the search. Rescue workers currently have to hike around 45 minutes to the site through difficult terrain.

All 150 people aboard the plane died last Tuesday when it crashed in the French Alps, en route from Barcelona to Düsseldorf.

jlw/lw (AFP, Reuters, AP, dpa)

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