From Monday the airline will drop the rule requiring two people to be present in the cockpit at all times. A security audit showed that the measure, introduced in 2015, hadn’t improved safety. Pilots started criticising the rule at the beginning of 2016.
The decision was taken after consultation among all of the airlines forming part of the Lufthansa group, said the group.
The company pointed out that it complies with all the requirements of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
The two-person rule was introduced after the intentional crashing of a Germanwings aircraft on 24 March 2015 in the southern French Alps. A suicidal pilot, who managed to lock himself alone in the cockpit, killed 149 passengers when he flew the plane into the side of a mountain.
The rule required another member of the the onboard team to be present in the cockpit, should one of the two pilots be absent.
After observing the original rule in action in 2016, the EASA changed its recommendations but left it to each individual airline to decide whether to make the change.
In early February 2016, the Swiss and EU pilots associations announced that they did not support the rule. According to them, having someone other than a pilot in the cockpit presents new operational risks, such as opening the cockpit door more often and for longer.
Speaking to Le News, a pilot from another airline, described the rule as stupid, designed only to put the public at ease after the Germanwings tragedy.
In a press release, Swiss said that the airline meets all the requirements demanded by EASA for any airline seeking to abolish the rule, which include: ensuring suitable selection criteria and procedures to assess the psychological and safety-relevant demands made on pilots; ensuring stable employment terms and conditions for cockpit personnel; giving pilots (easy) access to any psychological or other support programmes they may need; demonstrating an ability as a company to minimize the psychological and social risks to which pilots are exposed, such as loss of licence.