UAE carriers introduce 'rule of two' after Alps crash

New procedures introduced in response to the Germanwings disaster

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Leading carriers Emirates and Etihad Airways said Monday that their cockpits will have two crew members in at all times under new procedures introduced in response to the Germanwings disaster.

Investigators believe co-pilot Andreas Lubitz locked his captain out of the cockpit of Flight 4U 9525 and deliberately steered the Airbus A320 into a French mountainside last week, killing all 150 people onboard.

"Although there is no international industry regulation that mandates this as a compulsory practice, Emirates has implemented a new operating policy where there would always be two crew members in the cockpit," a spokesperson for the Dubai-based carrier told AFP.

"This is effective immediately."

Etihad Airways made a similar announcement, saying: "We have reviewed our operating procedures and will continue to do so in the light of the disturbing and tragic news from France.

"With immediate effect Etihad Airways will ensure there are always two crew members in the flight deck at all times on all flights," the Abu Dhabi carrier said.

The announcements by the two United Arab Emirates carriers follow similar moves by many European airlines to implement the so-called "rule of two", which is already standard in the United States.

Australia and Canada have ordered their airlines to do likewise.

French officials say the Germanwings crash appears to have been a case of suicide and mass killing.

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