CEO of flydubai holds press conference on flight FZ981 accident
DUBAI, 19th March, 2016 (WAM)--flydubai Chief Executive Officer Ghaith Al Ghaith held a press conference at the Government of Dubai Media Office Dubai to brief the media on the crash of its flight from Dubai to Rostov-on-Don in southwestern Russia early Saturday morning.
Officials at the press conference, held at the Government of Dubai Media Office, observed a minute's silence prior to the beginning of the press conference, paying their respects to the passengers who lost their lives in the crash.
"On behalf of everyone at flydubai, I would like to express the devastation we all feel in relation to this morning’s tragic events in Rostov-on-Don. Our primary concern is for the passengers and crew involved at this tragic time. Everyone in our company is in deep shock and our hearts go out to all loved ones of those involved," he said at the press conference.
"We are still in the process of gathering all the information we possibly can to provide, but at this stage I will share the facts that we are able to confirm now. At 00.50GMT today, flydubai flight FZ981 crashed at Rostov-on-Don and I am very sorry to say that we believe that are no survivors," he told the media.
He said there were 55 passengers including 33 women, 18 men and 4 children on board the flight. There were also seven crew members of whom five were male and two were female. The passengers included 44 Russians, 8 Ukrainians, 2 Indians and 1 Uzbekistani. The pilots were from Cyprus and Spain.
"I am personally leading our accident response with the support of the full management team. At this stage the focus of our efforts is on establishing the facts around the incident and providing all possible support to the authorities," he said.
"As I speak, members of our team are contacting relatives of the passengers and crew who were on board and we are offering any help we can to those affected. In addition, we have activated our Emergency Response Team who are on their way now to the site," the flydubai CEO added.
The CEO said that the airline is working closely with authorities to ascertain the causes of the crash. "We do not yet know all the details of the incident but we are working closely with the authorities to establish precisely what happened. We are making every effort to care for those affected and will provide assistance to the families and friends of those who were on board," he said.
Al Ghaith refused to comment on the cause of the accident. "This investigation will take time. Before we commit and say anything, we have to be 100 per cent sure, like in any investigation," he said.
He added, "We are doing everything possible to take care of the families.
"The airport was open and we were good to operate. Diversion is a judgment call. We have not seen anything to suggest that an alternative airport was needed. Yet this is preliminary information," said the official adding that the 2011-model aircraft was last checked on January 21."