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First Germanwings Barcelona-Duesseldorf flight since crash takes off
[MADRID] The first Germanwings flight on the same route as the plane that crashed in the French Alps took off from Barcelona on Wednesday.
A day after the crash that killed 150, the same 9:35 am flight from the northeastern Spanish city took off with a few minutes' delay, a staff member of ground handling service Swissport told AFP at Barcelona's El Prat airport.
The employee, who asked not to be named, declined to say how many people were on board the flight.
The flight used an Airbus 319 passenger jet which had just arrived from Dusseldorf, rather than the A320 model that crashed on Tuesday.
Germanwings, the low-cost subsidiary of German flag-carrier Lufthansa, changed the code number of the morning flight to 4U9441, from that of the crashed flight, 4U9525.
Germanwings had five other flights scheduled to take off on Wednesday from Barcelona to various airports in Germany.
French officials said no one on board survived when the plane crashed on Tuesday morning in a remote mountainous part of southeastern France.
The atmosphere in Barcelona airport was returning to normal a day after dozens of grieving relatives of passengers on the flight gathered there.
Some of those family members were still at a nearby hotel on Wednesday morning, with some expected to travel to the accident site.
Spanish and German leaders were also due to visit the area of the crash later on Wednesday.
Germanwings had to cancel at least one flight on Tuesday evening because pilots in shock about the flight refused to fly, the company said.
It was the first fatal accident in the history of Germanwings, and the deadliest air accident on the French mainland since 1974.
Germanwings and Lufthansa called on its employees to hold a minute's silence at 10:53 am (0953 GMT) for the victims - one of many such acts of mourning planned.