Alps plane crash: Lufthansa puts £200m aside for costs

Alps plane crash: Lufthansa puts £200m aside for costs

An additional £200m has been put aside by Lufthansa to cover possible costs arising from last week's Germanwings plane crash.

Lufthansa, which owns Germanwings, said the money would cover "all costs arising in connection with the case".

Meanwhile, French President Francois Hollande said the 150 victims would be identified by the end of the week.

An access road to the crash site has been completed to help speed up the recovery of bodies. However, rescuers have warned the operation could still take several months.

Speaking at a joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, Mr Hollande praised the work of scientists at the scene in the French Alps.

The French interior minister confirmed that "by the end of the week at the latest it will be possible to identify all of the victims thanks to DNA samples," he added.

None of the victims were found intact after the plane's 430mph impact, but different strands of DNA have been identified at the site.

Germany says that the £200m being put aside by Lufthansa is separate from the £36,720 available to the relatives of each passenger to cover short-term expenses.

Airlines are obliged to compensate relatives for proven damages of up to a limit of about £145,000 - regardless of what caused the crash - but higher compensation is possible if an airline is held liable.

On Monday it emerged that co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, had at one point received treatment for suicidal tendencies before getting his pilot licence.

Lubitz, 27, is suspected of deliberately crashing the plane in the Alps, killing all 150 people on board.

Officials in Duesseldorf said the investigation so far had revealed no clue as to his motives.

German prosecutors say he underwent psychotherapy before getting his licence and that medical records from that period referred to "suicidal tendencies."

Lufthansa says that Lubitz's medical records were subject to doctor-patient confidentiality and it had no knowledge of their contents.

Written by James Johnston