Indian civil aviation minister pledges to help families of crash victims

India's civil aviation minister will meet with families of the Air India crash victims to help them with their appeal of a court verdict in favour of Air India.

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SHARJAH // The Indian civil aviation minister will hold discussions in New Delhi tomorrow, striving for an amicable settlement with the families of people who died in the Mangalore air crash, ahead of a Supreme Court appeal to be filed next week.

“I am looking at ways to help them,” Vayalar Ravi said during a press conference in Sharjah yesterday. “I thought I must also call them and have face-to-face discussions. The meeting is not just to hear them but also discuss in detail if we can come to a conclusion.”

The Air India Express flight from Dubai overshot the runway in May last year, killing 152 passengers and all six crew. Only eight passengers survived.

Mr Ravi, who is also the overseas Indian affairs minister, said he was willing to listen to the relatives of the victims.

"If they want to stay (in Delhi), discussions can continue. The intention is to help them," he said, speaking in the emirate ahead of the 30th Sharjah International Book Fair.

Earlier this week, families in the UAE and in India said they were preparing for the final showdown with the government-owned carrier as one of the claimants files an appeal in the country's top court next week.

The appeal follows the Kerala High Court's judgement in favour of Air India in August.