Russia must act to ensure fair access to justice for families who lost relatives on Flydubai Flight 981

17 March 2017
An Australian lawyer acting for families who lost loved ones on Flydubai flight 981 is calling on the Russian Government to urgently end legal uncertainty and act on a key convention ahead of the first anniversary of the air crash this weekend.

Flydubai flight 981 (FZ981) tragically crashed in Russia on 19 March 2016, killing all 55 passengers and seven crew members on board.

Maurice Blackburn National Head of Aviation Law and Aviation Law expert Joseph Wheeler, who along with Russian lawyers is acting for the families of 37 people who died in the crash, said that on the eve of the first anniversary, all families affected still face legal uncertainty in ensuring fair  compensation.

“On this one year anniversary we are calling on the Russian Government to urgently act to ensure that all families who lost loved ones in this accident are retrospectively included in key aviation legislative reforms, that will help to bring Russian survivors of air accidents in line with other major countries,” Mr Wheeler said.

“In the past, families and survivors of major air accidents in Russia have come under what is known as the Warsaw Convention - a relic of history that provides only minimal damages to those seeking redress.

“In the aftermath of the Flydubai crash the Russian Government acted to remedy this imbalance, seeking to bring Russia in line with other major nations under the Montreal Convention, which is a much fairer and reasonable compensation law with international consistency for survivors and families.

“Disappointingly however this will not apply to those impacted by last year's Flydubai crash, who face having to remain under the archaic Warsaw Convention.

“This is unfair, and puts the families of those who died on the Flydubai flight, and seeking to move forward with their lives, at a significant disadvantage.

“On this first anniversary, we urge the Russian Government to act with urgency to remedy this oversight - these families deserve the same access to justice that all Russians will soon have,” he said.

Practice Areas: