Flydubai captain calls for donation help
Families of the flydubai crew killed in the FZ981 crash in Russia are struggling to make ends meet, according to the pilot raising funds to help them.
Captain Sacha Khamnei said in some cases the Dubai-based flight team were the “sole breadwinners” and their relatives are having trouble keeping “bread and food on the table”.
Flydubai has said families of the 55 passengers will receive $20,000 each to cover any immediate costs stemming from the loss of a rela-
By Shoshana Kedem tive, but has not publicly said what financial help the carrier will provide for the families of the seven crew members who died in the March 19 crash in Rostov-on-Don.
“I know everyone thinks that there’s a huge amount of insurance being paid out, and there is some insurance, but it won’t be paid out until a month so after the crash,” Khamnei told 7DAYS. He has so far raised Dhs336,000 for families of the seven crew through a crowdfunding site, but has appealed in the hope of raising Dhs500,000.
According to the Just Giving site, people from across the globe have donated, ranging from the Brazilian Pilots Union, to Qatar Airways crews, along with many from flydubai. Khamnei continued: “A lot of the cabin crew, and the pilots, were the sole breadwinners for their families. “This isn’t just a bit of extra cash, this is essential just to keep the bread and food on the table.” Colleagues of crew killed in the crash, last month in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don have reached into their own pockets to support the bereaved families. He said: “I know the company made an initial pay-out, and gave a little initial cash injection, but there are families with loans, school fees, all this cash is swallowed up instantly with arrears, so the more people can give it really will make a difference.”
Flydubai said it supports Khamnei’s efforts and that it too has been supporting crew families since the March 19 crash.
A spokesperson for flydubai said: “It is an incredibly kind gesture demonstrating the closeness of the flydubai family.”
Asked about the payments released so far to the families of flydubai personnel who lost their lives in the crash, the spokesperson added: “Out of respect for the families we will not discuss the details of the support we are giving to them.
“It is a private matter and we are doing all we can to support them at this time.”
One family member approached by 7DAYS did not wish to talk about payments, but said, whatever the size of the payment, “it will not restore life to my cousin.”
Khamnei’s fundraising page can be found at: https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/FZ981
AFTERMATH: Emergency services personnel examine the crash site in southern Russia