According to Russian media, the Federal Air Transport Agency, also known as Rosaviatsia, has taken official action to prevent unemployed pilots from finding employment with foreign airlines.
Most foreign flights were cancelled nationwide after February 24, 2022, when Russia began its invasion of Ukraine due to the possibility that leased aircraft might be impounded in accordance with Western sanctions over that invasion. Hundreds of pilots in Russia lost their jobs as Russian airlines stopped operating internationally, and many were compelled to hunt for work elsewhere.
The Kommersant business daily claimed on June 28, 2022, citing unnamed industry insiders, that Rosaviatsia appeared to be preventing the exodus of its pilots by refusing to confirm pilots' licences as part of regular practise when receiving requests from international air carriers.
The Federal Air Transport Agency will receive a verification request from a prospective new airline employer, which will be sent in accordance with standard procedure, asking the Russian aviation regulator to provide the required information, including the date a pilot's licence was issued and its applicability.
However, it appears that the regional authority is rejecting all requests from abroad and giving the reason that it is "impossible to disclose personal data."
The majority of unemployed pilots are currently looking for work at airlines based in Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Turkey, according to Miroslav Boichuk, the head of the Russian trade union that represents the interests of local pilots, in a statement to Kommersant.
Boichuk asserted that between February and June 2022, Rosaviatsia had received at least 600 requests for verification from foreign airlines.
Only 17% of unemployed pilots have been able to move forward with the process of being hired by foreign airlines because only 100 requests have been granted by the regulator.