Russian pilots are fired and also prevented from working abroad

Photo: ITAR-TASS/Ruslan Shamukov

A new problem opens up for Russian aviators, who will find it difficult to get a replacement in the cabin of a plane outside their country, due to a new challenge imposed by the government. Notably, this situation is a new development of the impacts generated by the invasion of Ukraine on Russian aviation.

With Western sanctions tightening heavily on Russian aviation, several companies have only operated domestic flights, while others explore international routes, but only to countries that have not closed the skies to planes registered in the country ruled by Vladimir Putin. Yet, in another limitation, Western-owned planes are at risk of being seized, depending on where they land.

The reduction in the number of flights and passengers has forced some companies to fire their pilots, who are now unable to work abroad, even if foreign companies want to hire them. As reported by the MoscowTimes, the local aviation agency, Rosaviatsia, has refused to verify licenses requested by foreign airlines as part of the hiring process.

The complaints are that Rosaviatsia simply ignores the requests, or rejects them, citing privacy concerns. Local unions say that more than 600 requests for verification have been made since March, but only 100 have been fulfilled and the pilots employed abroad.

Most foreign companies interested in Russian pilots are from Turkey, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and Cambodia. The retention of pilots would be linked to Putin’s plan to keep Russian aviation active, with many flights, and in the future with a mostly national fleet.

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