Germanwings, a previously little-known budget subsidiary of Lufthansa, has been under scrutiny in recent days following the horrific loss of one of its A320s, deliberately crashed in the French Alps by a rogue co-pilot who locked the pilot out of the cockpit.
All 150 passengers aboard the fatal Germanwings flight 4U9525 died in the disaster. A video, purportedly of the final minutes of the flight, has emerged, though its authenticity is still under suspicion. See: Video from doomed Germanwings – genuine or hoax?
Since then, over the Easter break, two Germanwings flights have been forced to make unscheduled landings. The airline disputed the description “emergency landings” used in some newspapers.
Germanwings flight 4U814 from Cologne to Venice, operated by a A319, was diverted to Stuttgart when an engine appeared to be losing oil, the airline said in a statement. Pilots shut down the faulty engine, as standard precaution.
The airline described the landing as a “standard safety procedure”.
Another Germanwings flight, 4U3882, made an unscheduled landing in Venice after a passenger and a flight attendant fell ill during the flight.
A statement issued by the Cologne-based airline and carried by Britain’s Daily Mail said the pair needed medical treatment for “an acute feeling of sickness”.
The airline denied the acute feeling related to a panic attack, although an Italian passenger told the newspaper Il Messaggero that the stricken passenger suffered from an acute fear of flying.
The plane involved, another A319, was carrying 145 passengers and five crew from Hannover to Rome.
Written by Peter Needham