Fly­dubai cap­tain calls for do­na­tion help

7 Days in Dubai - - NEWS - @B_shosh shoshana@7days.ae

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

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