Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways is on the hunt for new flight attendants in Moscow and Kyiv despite the devastating effects of President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Etihad’s decision to extend its search for desperately needed new aircrew in Russia is yet another visible reminder that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has not imposed any sanctions on Putin’s regime and is, in some ways, benefiting from Europe’s decision to ostracise Russia.
While countries across Europe, along with the United States and Canada shut their airspace to Russian jets, the UAE kept its borders open and joined India and China in abstaining on a United Nations resolution condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The UAE has become a sanctuary for Russian ogliarchs, and while the number of Russians visiting the popular Middle East country have dipped since the start of the conflict, both Abu Dhabi and Dubai remain popular holiday spots for Russian vacationers with enough money still to travel abroad.
Unlike European airlines, the likes of Etihad Airways and Emirates have continued to fly to Russia throughout the conflict. Etihad is currently serving Moscow with a once daily flight and the airline prides itself on recruiting cabin crew from the countries that they serve.
That isn’t the case for Ukraine, which wasn’t served by Etihad prior to the start of the war but its a good indicator that the government-owned airline is confident about still doing business in Ukraine.
Etihad isn’t alone in going headhunting in Moscow. Emirates is also on the hunt for new cabin crew in the Russian capital, although perhaps that shouldn’t be a surprise given the fact that 160 nationalities represent cabin crew at the airline.
It would appear that Etihad and Emirates aren’t going to let a war disrupt their recruitment plans.