A flight operated by Flydubai has crashed while flying from Dubai to the Russian city of Rostov on Don. The Dubai-based carrier says it does not believe there are any survivors.

Preliminary numbers from the airline indicate there were 55 passengers and seven crew on board the Boeing 737-800 aircraft. Flight FZ981 had departed Dubai International airport at 18.20 Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) on Friday 18 March and was due to arrive that evening at 22.40 GMT.

The crash is the first fatal accident involving either of Dubai’s two airlines Emirates or Flydubai.

Flydubai expects difficult 2016

Air traffic: FlyDubai has carried 10.4 million passengers since operations were started in June 2009

Air traffic: FlyDubai has carried 10.4 million passengers since operations were started in June 2009

Dubai-based budget airline Flydubai is expected to have a challenging 2016 due to the overall economic outlook.

The airline reported near 60 per cent drop in profits for 2015, to AED100.7 ($27.4m), in early February. The airline’s revenue, however, rose by 11 per cent year-on-year, reaching $1.3bn, and passengers carried across its network correspondingly increased by 25 per cent. Read more