There has been much debate on whether the Germanwings crash was caused by an act of terrorism. “There is no indication of a nexus to terrorism at this time,” said Bernadette Meehan, spokeswoman for the National Security Council.
Speaking to local press,
this is an example of why budget airlines are not cheap and are not sacrificing safety for profit:
Southwest Airlines, the world’s first successful no-frills carrier, pioneered ways of reducing operating costs that are now used all over the world. To reduce costs Southwest filled its planes with more seats, made sure each flight was packed and flew its aircraft more often than full-service airlines. No-frills airlines also cut costs by using only one type of aeroplane. Both Southwest and Ryanair fly only Boeing 737s, whereas British-based easyJet flies mainly Airbus planes. Business class was abolished. Fees for non-essential services like carrying luggage in the hold were introduced. Innovative sales strategies also helped. When easyJet was founded in 1995 it accepted only direct bookings. This cut out the fat fees charged by travel agents. Ingenious use of yield-management systems—which raise ticket prices when demand is high and reduce them during quiet periods—also increased efficiency.
Ryanair has taken the no-frills concept further. The airline is not known for its glamorous waiting-rooms, nor for dazzling customer service. And it has used fees to manage passenger behaviour more than other airlines. For example, to reduce ground-staff numbers, it is now prohibitively expensive to check in at the airport or to store luggage in the hold when travelling with Ryanair.
Flight 9525 took off just after 10 a.m. Tuesday from Barcelona, Spain, for Dusseldorf, Germany, with 144 passengers — among them two babies — and six crew members. It went down at 10:53 a.m. (5:53 a.m. ET) in a remote area near Digne-les-Bains in the Alpes de Haute Provence region.
Departure: Barcelona, Spain, at 10:01 a.m. (26 minutes late)
Destination: Scheduled to land in Dusseldorf, Germany, at 11:39 a.m.
Passengers: 150 (144 passengers, six crew members)
Airplane: Airbus A320 (twin-jet)
Airline: Germanwings (budget airline owned by Lufthansa)
Flight distance: 726 miles
Last known tracking data: 10:38 a.m.
Last known speed: 480 mph
Last known altitude: 11,400 feet
Last known location: Near Digne-les-Bains, France, in the Alps