Emirates will continue flying to Russia until told otherwise, the airline’s chief executive Sir Tim Clark said this morning.
Since the conflict’s outbreak, the UAE Government – who also owns Emirates – decided not to take sides between Western countries and Moscow, using Emirates aircraft to carry out humanitarian goods and diplomats in and out of Russia.
“As long as the state, our owner, requires us to fly there, we will continue,” Clark said today during Dubai’s World Government Summit.
“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.”
Even though Emirates aircraft are not allowed to carry sanctioned good into Russia, Clark avoided to say whether sanctioned individuals were flying aboard his planes.
“I’m not in a position to say who or what about sanctioned individuals,” he said. “[They] are sanctioned by the West, they may not be sanctioned here.”
Despite the war’s impact on the recovery of aviation, the 72-year-old chief executive said Emirates would return to profit next year after reducing losses during the current financial year.
“We are in for a good set of results, we haven’t reversed it completely but we have swung it,” he told journalists. “We’ve swung the business back to profitability, we are cash-positive again big time, we have a very strong balance sheet again which we have been rebuilding.
“We are forecasting profits next year and hopefully to pay a dividend and repay some of the equity that the government has put into the business.”