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25 March 2015
French Alps crash heavy blow to Lufthansa's image
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The deadly crash of a jet belonging to low-cost carrier Germanwings deals a body blow to the image of its parent company Lufthansa, already battling a bitter labor dispute and ferocious competition from budget rivals, analysts said on Wednesday.

"These are very hard days, undoubtedly one of the hardest days in the history of Lufthansa," the airline's finance chief Simone Menne said, after the group held a minute's silence for all 150 people aboard Germanwings flight 4U 9525, which went down in the French Alps en route from Barcelona to Duesseldorf.

Lufthansa chief executive Carsten Spohr, who only took over at the helm of the company last May, had
already described Tuesday's crash, which the German carrier has described as "inexplicable", as a "dark day" for the company.

Staff were still reeling from the shock on Wednesday, with some Germanwings crews saying they were not in a position to fly.

But in addition to the tragic human toll, the accident could have a drastic impact on the company's strategy, aviation analysts said.

"The crash is a tragedy and means a sharp hit for Lufthansa," said DZ Bank analyst Dirk Schlamp.

"Lufthansa stands for technical competence and reliability and the crash could lead to a substantial damage to its reputation. Moreover, the crash could endanger the company's low-cost concept, too," he said.


Reuters

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