Germawings Pilots And Crew Are Refusing To Fly

The Germanwings crash in the French Alps has put other plane crew members on high alert. Some Germanwings pilots and crews have refused to fly other scheduled flights that use the same A320 plane as the Germanwings Airbus that crashed Tuesday. Lufthansa, which wholly owns the budget carrier Germanwings, said several flights were canceled as a result.

As the details of the crash began to surface, Germanwings crews said they would not fly for "personal reasons." That caused Germanwings to cancel seven flights out of Dusseldorf. Passengers were left stranded in British airports in Heathrow, Stansted, and Manchester as well as airports in Germany, according to The Times of London. In a statement to ITV News, a Lufthansa spokesman said:

The crews said that they did not want to board the flights for personal reasons which we cannot speculate about, which it is not our place to do.

According to the Associated Press, Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr said Tuesday evening that he understood why Germanwings crew members chose to avoid flying.

One must not forget: many of our Germanwings crews have known crew members who were onboard the crashed plane. ... It is now more important to ensure psychological assistance if needed. And we will get back to a full flight operation as soon as possible then. But for me, this is rather secondary now.

The Germanwings plane crashed in the French Alps while en route to Dusseldorf, Germany, from Barcelona. None of the 144 passengers or six crew members survived. CNN reports that Lufthansa, which wholly owns the budget carrier, and Germanwings will retire the flight number 9525.

The A320 has largely had a good safety record. The Independent reports that the A320 line has had 0.14 fatal accidents per million takeoffs, logging 58,300 flight hours over 46,700 flights. That's why safety experts have said that what caused the Germanwings plane to crash was most likely a sudden and catastrophic event.