Russian investigators have disclosed that the Flydubai Boeing 737-800 had already executed a missed approach at Rostov-on-Don before its fatal accident.
The emergency situations ministry states that the crash occurred at 03:42 local time, during a second landing attempt at night.
Flight FZ981 had been due to arrive some 2h earlier at 01:40, says Flydubai.
Meteorological data from Rostov-on-Don shows the airport had been experiencing rain, reduced visibility and gusting winds at the time of the aircraft carried out its initial approach to runway 22.
The aircraft aborted the landing and held for an extended period before a second landing attempt.
Weather information from the airport points to the continued presence of cumulonimbus clouds and rain showers, as well as wind gusts approaching 50kt at the time of the crash.
Russian transport minister Maksim Sokolov says the accident will be “thoroughly investigated”.
The emergency situations ministry has issued a manifest listing 55 passengers and seven crew members on board the aircraft.
Flydubai says it believes there are no survivors from the crash. “We don’t yet know all the details of the accident but we are working closely with the authorities to establish the cause,” says chief executive Ghaith Al Ghaith.
Emirates Group, which was instrumental in establishing Flydubai, says it is offering “every assistance” to the budget carrier.
Flydubai had disclosed, just 10 days before the accident, that it had joined IATA as a member carrier, which had required passing the association's operational safety audit last year. Flydubai's IOSA safety audit status remains valid until June 2017.