European airlines to have two crew in cockpit

A monument intalled to honour the victims of Germanwings flight . Picture: Getty
A monument intalled to honour the victims of Germanwings flight . Picture: Getty
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EVERY European airlines is expected to have two crew in the cockpit throughout flights after their safety regulator recommended the move today.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (Easa) announcement followed several carriers saying they were already adopting the policy in the wake of the Germanwings crash.

Easa executive director Patrick Ky said: “While we are still mourning the victims, all our efforts focus on improving the safety and security of passengers and crews.”

Lufthansa said earlier yesterday said it would move to the two-person rule “as soon as possible” across its airlines, which include Germanwings, Austrian Airlines and Swiss Air.

Others following suit included Virgin Atlantic, Thomas Cook, Wizz and Monarch.

EasyJet, Scotland’s biggest airline, said on Thursday it was introducing the rule, along with Norwegian and Air Canada.

Ryanair, Jet2 and Flybe said the policy was already in place.

British Airways, the second largest carrier in Scotland, refused to say whether it would follow suit, stating: “We never discuss security issues”.

The Easa recommendation is likely to oblige it to fall into line, if it has not already.

Easa spokesman Ilias Maragakis said: “With the Easa advice, the rule should quickly become ubiquitous across the 28-nation EU. If we publish a recommendation, it is not easily ignored.”

The Federal Aviation Administration - Easa’s US equivalent - already has a two-person rule, which suggested BA is already having to comply on US flights.

However, David Learmount, operations and safety editor at aviation publisher Flightglobal said it would “reduce the risk a little” but was not foolproof.

He said that in a previous case, a suicidal pilot had overpowered the other and crashed the plane.

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