The CEO of Lufthansa has promised to help the families of the Germanwings plane crash victims for as long as possible. But as Ciara Lee reports, Carsten Spohr is coming under increasing pressure himself.
Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr visits the memorial to the victims of the Germanwings flight that ploughed into a French mountainside. After an already troubled first year in charge of Germany's Flagship airline, he must now deal with the aftermath of the disaster. The crash, believed to have been caused by co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, happened while Lufthansa was trying to improve its business. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LUFTHANSA CEO, CARSTEN SPOHR, SAYING: "Ladies and gentlemen, it has now been one week after this terrible accident and our grief is still with us every day, everywhere and I think I speak for everybody in Lufthansa, that there is not a single hour when we don't think about this terrible accident." Lufthansa was battling to expand low-cost operations, reduce staff costs and stop pilot strikes. The tragedy sent shockwaves through a company that prides itself on the rigorous selection and training of its pilots. Justin Urquhart Stewart from Seven Investment Management says corporations often seek someone to blame during times of crisis. (SOUNDBITE) (English) JUSTIN URQUHART STEWART, SEVEN INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT, SAYING: "If I were them I wouldn't be losing a chief executive now, it's a bad time to lose your leader right in the middle of when you are in the middle of a crisis. Rather actually to try and find someone to get you out of that crisis and then find someone who is going to bear the responsibility." Shares in Lufthansa rose in morning trade after they hit four-month lows last week. And analysts are confident the company can recover from the current bad press over what it knew about Lubitz's medical history. The crash initially raised questions about whether Lufthansa should continue with its budget expansion plans. The airline says it needs to bring its costs down so it can compete with short-haul rivals Ryanair and easyJet, as well as the likes of Emirates and Turkish Airlines on lucrative long-haul routes. For now, Spohr focusing on taking care of the victims' families and friends.