Dubai state-carrier Emirates will continue to fly to Russia until its owners tell it not to, President Tim Clark said on Tuesday.
The United Arab Emirates has refused to take sides between Western allies and Russia and has not matched global sanctions imposed on Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.
“As long as the state, our owner, requires us to fly there, we will continue,” Clark told the World Government Summit.
“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.”
He said the Ukraine conflict would be a paradigm shift for the global economy, including civil aviation, unless it is resolved soon.
“If this gets sorted sooner rather than later the pressure of globalization, the pressure of demand from multiple sectors within the global economy will be such that we can get through this. The longer it goes on, the more difficult it becomes to deal with,” he said.
Clark said that following the COVID-19 pandemic Emirates was seeing a resurgence of demand across the countries in its networks. “We’ve been making profits, we’re very cash positive, things have been going very well,” he said.