Air Malta has made it compulsory to have two crew members in the cockpit at all times.

The airline's decision follows Wednesday's tragedy when a Germanwings co-pilot barricaded himself alone at the controls of a jetliner and crashed it deliberately, killing all 150 people on board.

Air Malta followed in the footsteps of many other airlines which updated their rules following the incident. The measure comes into effect immediately.

Scandinavian authorities said this afternoon that Europe's aviation safety agency is recommending that airlines across the continent always have two people in the cockpit of a flying aircraft.

The United States already introduced a law to have two crew members present in the cabin at all times, but many other countries do not, allowing pilots to leave the flight deck, for example to use the toilet, as long as one pilot is at the controls.

Air Malta said that its thoughts were with the family members of the passengers as well as the airline's colleagues around the world.

"Air Malta is committed to continually improving its safety policies and maintaining its impeccable safety record.

"This measure complements our other security procedures already in place," it said.

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