LONDON – According to Aawsat, Emirates will continue operating flights into Russia until the owners tell them not to.
Such a statement came from Tim Clark, the President of the carrier who said the following:
“As long as the state, our owner, requires us to fly there, we will continue”.
“There are lots of reasons why we fly, we carry humanitarian goods in our holds. We’ve got NGOs traveling in and out of Russia.”
“We’ve got the diplomatic community going in and out of Russia…so all we’re doing is being an enabler, facilitator, without taking a political position on this for the time being”.
What destinations in Russia do Emirates serve?
Emirates currently serves the capital Moscow as well as St Petersburg as part of its overall route network.
Based on the Emirates website, the carrier operates flights to Moscow on a daily basis, with the St Petersburg flights operating daily as well.
Such a flight link to get out of Russia is being utilized, especially if it means doing long flights connecting to Dubai to head back West again.
Air Serbia does similar flights, but from Belgrade, which as it stands is the only way to enter Europe properly.
Will they cease operations in the wake of the Ukraine Crisis?
It remains pretty clear that Emirates is comfortable offering such flights to the two Russia-based destinations.
With Clark justifying this reason to do so, there can’t really be that much argument nor pressure held to cease such flights.
With NGOs, diplomats, and others requiring the route to get home in the event of a worst-case situation, Emirates does appear to be doing some good here.
That is of course until Russian diplomats use the service to get out of the country, especially with sanctions becoming rife recently.
It’s a hard question to answer, especially with Emirates appearing to be operating these routes for the right reasons.
However, it will be interesting to see how much longer the owners of the airline choose to keep these services alive, and whether they will change their minds at all.
But in the meantime, Emirates can continue to benefit from these flights, with no overall consequence going forward.