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Emirates Says It’ll Keep Flying to Russia As Long As Dubai Tells It to

  • Emirates continues to serve the Russian market even as major air carriers have pulled out amid sanctions on Russia.
  • Emirates is owned by the government of Dubai, which is part of the United Arab Emirates (UAE.)
  • The UAE hasn’t condemned Russia for the war in Ukraine or imposed sanctions against the country.

Emirates will continue flying to Russia as long as its owner — the government of Dubai — tells it to, the carrier’s CEO said on Tuesday.

“As long as the state, our owner, requires us to fly there, we will continue,” CEO Tim Clark told the World Government Summit, per Reuters.

“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,” said Clark, according to Reuters.

Emirates is one of the few airlines still serving Russia after major carriers pulled out of the country amid sweeping sanctions over the Ukraine war. Dubai is part of the United Arab Emirates, which hasn’t condemned Russia for the war in Ukraine or imposed sanctions against the country.

Clark told reporters at the summit in Dubai that Emirates prohibits sanctioned goods on its planes.

When it comes to sanctioned individuals, Clark said he wasn’t “in a position to say who or what about sanctioned individuals. (They) are sanctioned by the West, they may not be sanctioned here,” Reuters reported.

In a separate interview on Tuesday, Clark told Bloomberg TV the Russian people are also heavily impacted by sanctions.

“These sanctions are not aimed at the Russian people,” Clark told Bloomberg. “The Russian people are just as affected by what’s been going on in Ukraine as everyone else, I suspect.”

Other major airlines still serving Russia include Turkish Airlines and Qatar Airways.

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