This is a copy of a letter received by Pierre C., AF's Director of Technical Operations from Carl S., LH's General Director of Air Operations...
"On April 11th 2004, our flight LH573, on it's way from JNB to FRA, got into considerable difficulties owing a group of unruly passengers.
The situation on board escalated in such a way that the Crew decided on an immediate diversion to the next located airport.
The flight was still on its way across the African airspace, the nearest Lufthansa Station had been several hours away. The Crew decided to divert to NDJ (N'Djamena - Chad - ).
Not Having any information about NDJ airport, our staff in FRA contacted the Air France Operation Control Center in Paris-CDG.
They did not only provide the information required but also contacted the Air France Station Manager in NDJ to support the diverted Lufthansa flight and to arrange payment for handling and fuelling if necessary.
Even your Station Manager in NDJ was called for help in the middle of the night. He handled the flight very professionally.
The unruly passengers were offloaded, the aircraft was refueled and was ready to depart just a couple hours later.
Dear Pierre, I would like to express my warmest thanks to you and your staff for this outstanding support. This is really a good example for the excellent cooperation between our airlines, especially in emergency situations.
I owe you more than a beer for this !!!"
In this hard world of competition and commercial war, I think it's pleasant to see that the good old spirit of Aviation is not dead and is going on... even between two rival giants...