A flydubai plane. Photo for illustrative purposes only Image Credit: Supplied

UAE-based carrier flydubai has commented on the report issued on Tuesday by Russia about the fatal 2016 crash of a passenger plane that put the onus of the incident on the crew.

The Boeing 737-800 from Dubai, operated by the Dubai-based budget carrier Flydubai, came down 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.

The Boeing 737 was being flown by the captain at the time of the crash. Both crew were relatively experienced.

Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer, flydubai, said at the time of publication of the final report after an investigation into the incident, “Flydubai would like to thank the Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC) the Russian Authorities and the Accredited Representatives for their work.

“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.”

He added: “flydubai acknowledges the conclusions and recommendations drawn by the IAC. 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.”

Measures taken since the accident

“Since the accident, our priorities have been to support the bereaved families, to conduct a thorough review of our internal processes and systems, and to support the work of the investigator in-charge. The pursuit of safety enhancements remains central to our operations,” added Al Ghaith.

“At the time of the accident, flydubai was fully compliant with all regulatory requirements. Following a thorough review of the Interim Report, the Draft Final Report and flydubai’s own internal investigation, the airline has, in conjunction with our regulator, the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) taken a number of precautionary measures prior to the publication of the Final Report.

“Following the release of the Interim Report on 20 April 2016, flydubai undertook a thorough internal review of all available data in conjunction with analysis from independent and recognised subject matter experts. The airline made proactive operational enhancements to both simulator and classroom training to reinforce awareness and enhance understanding of spatial disorientation. Furthermore, flydubai made additions to the manufacturer’s standard operating procedures and manuals. All pilots have been trained on these enhancements which exceed regulatory requirements.

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

The CEO also spoke about compensation. “flydubai’s aim has always been to fairly compensate 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 recognise this is a poignant moment for the families and our long-term care team remains available for as long as they need.”