An Application of Situational Crisis Communication Theory on Germanwings Flight 9525 Crisis Communication

18 Pages Posted: 8 Feb 2016

See all articles by Ivyanno U. Canny

Ivyanno U. Canny

MHMK - University for Media and Communication, Berlin

Date Written: January 18, 2016


When such a crises involve injury and loss of life, a comprehensive ability of organization to comprehend and predict the way of act and react of its diverse stakeholders its very important to keep the communications levels meet with their expectations, in terms of transparency and frequent communications to eliminate the paradigm of status quo during handling the catastrophe. On 24 March 2015 at 10:53 AM, the Airbus A320-211 from Germanwings carrying 144 passengers and six crew crashed in a remote area of the French Alps as it flew from Barcelona to Düsseldorf. To deal with challenges that tumble Lufthansa reputation (as the parent company of Germanwings) as well as the worldwide German airline industry reputation and financial losses, Germanwings is particularly used many strategies to communicate with stakeholders during the crisis occur.

This paper employs the Situational Crisis Communication Theory (SCCT) by Coombs to analyze how Lufthansa Group responded to the series of crisis communication during the flight crash crisis occurred. First, the analysis and evaluation of stakeholder's group are provided to give a clear path to whom Lufthansa Group should be responsible during the crisis occurred. Second, this thesis study outlines the perceptions of stakeholder's group and the possible reputational threat. Third, this paper investigated Lufthansa Group's crisis response strategies through an analysis of media channels, such as two press release, two press conference and video broadcast on certain period from 24-27 March 2015. Lastly, discussion on content analysis are conducted to measure the effectiveness of overall crisis communication response by Lufthansa Group according to SCCT model.

Keywords: communication, crisis communication, situational crisis communication theory, crisis response strategy

Suggested Citation

Canny, Ivyanno U., An Application of Situational Crisis Communication Theory on Germanwings Flight 9525 Crisis Communication (January 18, 2016). Available at SSRN: or

Ivyanno U. Canny (Contact Author)

MHMK - University for Media and Communication, Berlin ( email )

M33 Höfe
Mehringdamm 33
Berlin, 10961

Register to save articles to
your library


Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics