Dubai carrier flydubai acknowledges Russian report on 2016 crash

Russian emergency rescuers examine the wreckage of a flydubai flight FZ981 at the Rostov-on-Don airport on March 20, 2016. (AFP)
Updated 27 November 2019

Dubai carrier flydubai acknowledges Russian report on 2016 crash

DUBAI: Dubai budget carrier flydubai has acknowledged the conclusions and recommendations of a report issued by Russia’s Interstate Aviation Committee on Tuesday.

The report blamed pilot error and possible crew disorientation during bad weather at night led to the fatal 2016 crash of flydubai flight FZ981 in the early hours of March 19, 2016 at Rostov-on-Don airport in southern Russia after aborting a second landing attempt in high winds. All 62 people on board died.

“Flydubai would like to thank the Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC) the Russian Authorities and the Accredited Representatives for their work,” statement from the airline said.

“During the official investigation, while observing ICAO’s Annex 13 protocols, flydubai appointed a number of subject matter experts to conduct a thorough internal investigation of the factual data as well as to provide substantive responses to the Investigator In Charge.

“In accidents involving Human Factors, it is important to exhaust all possible scenarios when interpreting the factual data. It is the priority of the industry to understand all possible factors contributing to such a tragic accident and ensure critical insights that can make aviation safer are shared.

“We have taken our obligations seriously and have implemented additional actions above and beyond those identified in the Final Report. As part of flydubai’s ongoing commitment to improved air safety, it is our intention to share our additional learnings and insights with the industry,” the carrier added.

Ghaith Al-Ghaith, the chief executive of flydubai, also said that they are almost finished with the compensation process for those who have been “impacted by the loss of loved ones following the accident involving FZ 981.”

“We have now settled the majority of claims and it remains our priority to complete this process. We recognize this is a poignant moment for the families and our long-term care team remains available for as long as they need,” he said in a statement.

Al-Ghaith likewise reiterated the airline’s commitment to improved air safety.

“flydubai will continue to work closely with its industry partners and the regulator to share learnings with the joint aim of enhancing air safety,” he said.

Jailed UK-Iranian Zaghari-Ratcliffe is ‘chess piece’: husband

Updated 11 min 47 sec ago

Jailed UK-Iranian Zaghari-Ratcliffe is ‘chess piece’: husband

  • Ratcliffe said there was a 'gap' between him and the government over its tactics
  • Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested at Tehran airport in April 2016

LONDON: The husband of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian woman jailed in Tehran, on Thursday said his wife was being used as a “chess piece,” following talks with Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Speaking from Downing Street after his meeting, Richard Ratcliffe said there was a “gap” between him and the government over its tactics.
“I think there remains that gap between my sense that the government needs to be tougher with Iran, alongside improving relations generally, and the Foreign Office instinct to not have things escalate,” he told reporters.
“I don’t think I have come away thinking Nazanin is coming out tomorrow or even next week.”
Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested at Tehran airport in April 2016 after visiting relatives in Iran with her young daughter.
She worked for the Thomson Reuters Foundation — the media organization’s philanthropic arm — at the time.
Her family say Johnson jeopardized her case by mischaracterizing her job at the time.
Iranian authorities convicted her of sedition — a charge Zaghari-Ratcliffe has always contested — and she is serving a five-year jail term.
Her case has unfolded amid escalating tensions between Tehran and the West, particularly the United States and Britain.
But Ratcliffe believes it is particularly linked to London’s failure to return £400 million ($500 million, 450 million euros) owed to Tehran for a 1970s tank deal.
Ratcliffe said Thursday that his wife was “being held hostage” and used as a “chess piece.”
“That wasn’t disputed in there,” he said. “The UK obviously is wary of that tightrope it is walking between the US and Europe in Iran relations.
“I was saying ‘I think this is different’. This is a global norm, that actually we all uphold universal values where hostage-taking shouldn’t be happening.”
Ratcliffe had previously blamed Johnson for making his wife’s case worse by mistakenly stating, when he was foreign minister, that Zaghari-Ratcliffe had been training journalists while visiting Iran.
The pair “didn’t talk about the past” on Thursday, he said.
Johnson “was very clear that he was committed in what he was doing... and that if there was anything they could do almost within reason, that they were ready to do it,” Ratcliffe added.
“I don’t doubt his personal commitment to Nazanin.”