ANKARA – The CEO of Turkish Airlines, Temel Kotil, called on unmarried pilots working for the airliner to seek marriage to avoid a fate similar to that of Andreas Lübitz, the co-pilot who was thought to have intentionally crashed a Germanwings plane into the French Alps with 149 other people on board.
“That crash happened after the pilot, who caused the accident, broke up with his girlfriend. Hence, my friends, know that we are absolutely encouraging single pilots to marry,” Kotil said during a ceremony held to welcome newly hired pilots, according to Turkish newspaper Hurriyet Daily News.
Lübitz and his girlfriend broke up weeks before the tragedy of March 24, as several media have reported, although the information was never confirmed by the authorities.
The head of the company also highlighted the importance of the pilots’ “lifestyle,” in comments that have raised some amazement in Turkey.
Kotil also encouraged more women to learn how to fly commercial aircrafts, and complained that the number of female pilots for Turkish Airlines remained low, citing the fact that only three women were among the 86 recently graduated pilots, and that there are only 40 female pilots in a fleet of 4,000.
Islamist Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has historically and publicly defending the institution of marriage, and has repeatedly called on all Turkish women to have at least three children.