Cabin crew members around the world show support for victims of FlyDubai crash
A FlyDubai plane crashed in Russia, killing all 62 passengers and crew on board. (AFP/File)
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Even as they take to the skies for their jobs, cabin crew from around the world are sharing messages of condolences for the seven crew members who died on flydubai flight FZ981 in the early hours of Saturday morning.
More than half a million people have so far viewed a post called United By Wings on a Facebook community page called A Fly Guy’s Cabin Crew Lounge.
The page’s administrator is a first class flight attendant, Jay Robert. “I ask you to join me in wrapping our wings of support around our flying family at flydubai. Today the airline suffered the tragic loss of 6 crew and 55 passengers in the crash of flight 981,” wrote Roberts in the post, which had been shared more than 3,000 times by 1pm UAE time.
“When this happens we immediately put ourselves into the tragic situation and the reality of risks we take as safety professionals is made very real,” said Robert, reached by phone in New Zealand.
He conveyed the strength of a tight-knit community that instantly rallies around its members when disaster strikes. “Cabin crew are generally self-sacrificing individuals and when things like this happen we want to be there and support those in our flying family that are closest to the loss. That’s why the crew lounge [the Facebook group] has been the main place crew around the world turn to pay their respects and to let the crew from the grief-stricken airline know we are thinking of them.”
During the Malaysia Airlines tragedy in 2014, in which a Boeing 777 carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew vanished, more than 27 million paid their respects via the page.
Roberts, an American, says that a passion for flying and helping people means crew continue their work in the face of such a tragedy. “After a crash it’s more real that we could go to work and maybe never return. But it’s like any safety profession, you do it because you have a passion to help people.”
“From my knowledge, Dubai is the largest crew base on earth between the airlines headquartered there. Without a doubt this incident will make an impact and be on many minds of the crew as they take off today.”
Commenting on the page, a poster who identified himself as a FlyDubai flight attendant wrote “it’s devastating news but plz if i can ask u to share this picture as much as u can or the one of united by wings, may God bless there souls [sic]”.
Another poster wrote: “No matter what airline...we’ve lost 6 brothers and sisters and 55 passengers that we all have flown before. Mothers, fathers, families, UM’s...the list is endless. We only hope these accidents become few and far between with no fatalities. God be with them all.”
By Natalie Long
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