Chaos in the Skies – the Airline Industry Pre- and Post-911

In: Business and Management

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Exploring Corporate Strategy
CLASSIC CASE STUDIES

Chaos in the skies – the airline industry pre- and post-9/11
Gary J. Stockport
The case provides an opportunity to analyse the Airline Industry both pre- and post-9/11. It shows how one major event in the business environment can reshape many aspects in both the macro and competitive environment of an industry. In turn this requires a reshaping of strategies for most of the individual companies in the industry in order to cope with this new environment. It also provides an opportunity for students to recommend how airlines might better plan for, as well as react to, disruptive events such as 9/11 happening in the future.
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This is a true story from the many stories of 11 September 2001. It was a typically routine early morning flight home. United flight 890 had left Narita Japan several hours earlier, and the sun would be coming up any minute. Captain Jim Hosking was looking forward to getting home to see his wife in LA. Suddenly a message from the cockpit teleprinter came in from the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA). Such messages were routine, advising of bad weather or maintenance requirements. However, this message was different and it read:

UA890 NRTLAX – –MESSAGE FROM CHIDD– THERE HAS BEEN A TERRORIST ATTACK AGAINST UAL AND AAL AIRCRAFT. WE ARE AT HIGH ALERT. WE ARE ADVDa THERE MAY BE ADDTLb HIGHJACKINGS IN PROGRESS. SHUT DOWN ALL ACCESS TO FLIGHT DECK. UNABLE TO ELABORATE FURTHER. a b

ADVD – Advised ADDTL – Additional

Source: USA Today, 12 August 2002, p. 1A.1

1

A. Levin, M. Adams and B. Morrison, ‘Four hours of fear: decision-making in a crisis’, USA Today, 12 August 2002, p. 1A.

This case study was written by Professor Gary J. Stockport and MBA student, Norman Roberts, Graduate School of Management, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia. It is intended as a…...

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