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Lufthansa planning spot checks of pilots

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A man lights up candles to mourn victims of the crashed plane of Germanwings at the Tegel airport in Berlin, Germany, on March 25, 2015. An Airbus A320 of the German low-cost airline Germanwings with 150 people on board crashed on Tuesday in southern France, French authorities confirmed.

A man lights up candles to mourn victims of the crashed plane of Germanwings at the Tegel airport in Berlin, Germany, on March 25, 2015. An Airbus A320 of the German low-cost airline Germanwings with 150 people on board crashed on Tuesday in southern France, French authorities confirmed.
A man lights up candles to mourn victims of the crashed plane of Germanwings at the Tegel airport in Berlin, Germany, on March 25, 2015. An Airbus A320 of the German low-cost airline Germanwings with 150 people on board crashed on Tuesday in southern France, French authorities confirmed.

German airline Lufthansa said that the company was considering spot medical checks for its pilots, after one of them apparently deliberately crashed a plane in France in March, killing 150 passengers and crew on board.

“In contrast to other air crashes, no clear consequences can yet be drawn with regard to on-board safety from the Germanwings crash,” Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr told German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung .

“But of course we are continually working on minimizing the risks of flying still further,” Xinhua news agency quoted him as telling the newspaper.

Andreas Lubitz, co-pilot of a passenger jet of Lufthansa’s fully-owned subsidiary Germanwings, is believed to have deliberately crashed the aircraft into the French Alps on March 24. He is thought to have a history of depression.

Lufthansa is weighing “unannounced health checks” of its pilots, which could be a possible way to help reduce uncertainty over the pilots’ mental health, Spohr added.

In addition, the airline would examine very closely “under which conditions and in what exceptional circumstances doctors might have to be exempted from medical confidentiality obligations”, he stated.