Flydubai flight FZ981 crashed early Saturday morning in the Russsian city of Rostov-on-Don, killing all 55 passengers and seven crew members.
While an investigation is underway into the cause of the accident, the BBC reports that the plane abandoned its first attempted landing, before crashing two hours later in a second attempt. Poor visibility and high winds have been reported, and are thought to have been behind the first, aborted landing attempt.
There were 55 passengers onboard: 44 Russians, 8 Ukrainians, two Indians and a Uzbekistani national.
Update 5:Statement relating to flydubai flight FZ981 Following our earlier statements more information is now...
The pilot, a Cypriot national, and co-pilot, a Spaniard, were both experienced with more than 5,000 hours of flying time each, according to The National . The other five crew members were Spanish, Russian, Kyrgyzstani, Columbian and one member from the Seychelles. The plane was a Boeing 737-800, according to flydubai.
Flydubai CEO Ghaith Al Ghaith offered his condolences to the families of the victims and pledged that the company would do everything it could to help those that were affected. Flydubai said that Ghaith would personally lead the company's response to the incident.
"On behalf of everyone at flydubai, I would like to express the devastation we all feel in relation to this morning’s tragic event 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 the loved ones of those involved," Ghaith said in a statement.
Statement by flydubai CEO Ghaith Al Ghaith regarding FZ981 Statement by flydubai CEO Ghaith Al Ghaith regarding FZ981 from Dubai to Rostov-on-Don 19 March 2016
Posted by flydubai on Friday, March 18, 2016
Russia's RT has released a CCTV video that it claims captured the crash and explosion of the flight.
Flydubai Boeing crash in Russia kills all 62 on board FlyDubai #FZ981 plane crash FIRST VIDEO: Moment Boeing-737 crashes in Rostov-on-Don caught on CCTVREAD MORE: http://on.rt.com/77eq
Posted by RT Play on Saturday, March 19, 2016
Flydubai began flying in 2009 as a low-cost carrier, and now serves more than 90 destinations. Saturday's crash is the first fatal accident the airline had experienced; in 2015 one of its flights was hit by small-arms fire while landing in Baghdad, but landed safely with no injuries.
An investigation is underway in Rostov-on-Don, which is nearly 1,000 km south of Moscow. Investigators reported Saturday afternoon that they had recovered the plane's flight recorders.
Meanwhile, flydubai has set up emergency response centers to assist relatives of the passengers, and have released the following numbers for them to use to request information and assistance:
+44 203 450 8853 (UK) +971 (0) 42934100 (UAE)