[PeterPaul.ca] — European budget carrier Germanwings confirmed the loss of an Airbus A320 flying between the Spanish city of Barcelona to Düsseldorf, Germany, on Tuesday with all 144 passengers and six crew members aboard presumed dead, officials said.
“We must confirm to our deepest regret that Germanwings Flight 4U 9525 from Barcelona to Düsseldorf has suffered an accident,” Lufthansa, the owner of Germanwings, said via Twitter.
The plane went down northwest of Nice, France, according to data from flightradar24.com without any calls of distress or extraordinary weather conditions before it mysteriously crashed.
In the aftermath, Germanwings pilots decided not to operate aircraft out of safety concerns for the fleet, causing some cancellations, the airline confirmed. “We understand their decision,” said Germanwings CEO Thomas Winkelmann without providing additional details but but adding that the flight went into a long descent before it crashed.
“We do not yet know what has happened to flight 4U 9525,” said Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr. “My deepest sympathy goes to the families and friends of our passengers and crew on 4U9525.” “If our fears are confirmed, this is a dark day for Lufthansa. We hope to find survivors,” he added.
One of the black boxes has been recovered in the wreckage according to search officials and although damaged, it can still be exploited for data.
The aircraft used to operate the scheduled service began flying in 1991 and had accumulated 58,300 flight hours prior to Tuesday’s crash, Airbus said in a statement. “The concerns and sympathy of the Airbus employees go to the families, friends and loved ones affected by the accident of flight 4U9525.”
The Airbus A320 is still considered one of the most technologically-advanced passenger aircraft ever manufactured, equipped with innovative “fly-by-wire” technology resulting in lighter workloads for pilots during flight. It first took to the skies in March 1988 and since then, has accumulated over 85 million flights and counting in all corners of the globe.