UPDATE: Fly Dubai has announced that it is paying families $20,000 (Dh73,500) per passenger as immediate relief following the accident on Saturday.
In a statement released late last night, the airline said it is organising "a programme of hardship payments to the families amounting to $20,000 per passenger, in accordance with our Conditions of Carriage, with the aim of addressing immediate financial needs."
EARLIER REPORTS: 'Both black boxes found'
In the latest development Flydubai has issued another statement: "We are aware of the reports that are circulating in relation to the black box flight recorders. We can confirm that both black box flight recorders have been recovered from the crash site by the local accident investigation team and we continue to do all we can to assist their work."
In a statement Flydubai spokesperson said: "Our priority is the extension of all possible care and respect to the families of the passengers and crew of flight FZ981. We are currently in the process of contacting all families that have lost loved ones as a result of this tragic accident. It is a process that will take a little time but as a mark of respect to the families of the bereaved, we want to make every effort to inform them directly prior to releasing the full passenger manifest."
Chief Executive Officer Ghaith Al Ghaith, along with other airline officials, is holding a press conference in Dubai, following the crash of Flydubai flight from Dubai to Rostov-on-Don in southwestern Russia early Saturday morning...
When questioned about the CCTV footage, he said, "We cannot confirm if that indeed was the aircraft."
Ghaith said, "We are doing everything possible to take care of the families."
"There were five cabin crew onboard hailing from Russia, Colombia, and Seychells. There were 55 passengers including four children. Pilots are fron Cyprus and Spain.
"The airport was open and we were good to operate," he said. Diversion is a judgement call...We have not seen anything to suggest that an alternative airport was needed... Yet this is preliminary information," said the official and added that the 2011-model aircraft was last checked on January 21."
There was no distress call, he said to a query.
Earleir, officials observed a minute's silence prior to beginning the press conference, paying their respects to the passengers who lost their lives in the crash. "On behalf of everyone at Flydubai, I'd like to express the devastation that we all feel. Everyone at our company is in deep shock. Our hearts go out to all involved," says Ghaith Al Ghaith.