Employment Relations, Management Style and Flight Crew Attitudes at Low Cost Airline Subsidiaries:: The Cases of British Airways/Go and bmi/bmibaby

Geraint Harvey, Peter Turnbull, 2006

Name of publisher/editor

European Management Journal

Geographic area


Summary & key words

In response to the challenge of low costs airlines, several full service carriers (FSCs) around the world have created their own low cost subsidiary. In the UK, two successful examples of this strategy are bmibaby (bmi) and Go (British Airways). To compete with their low cost rivals, these subsidiaries need to create a similar low cost employment system and human resource management policies to support this system, which will be very different from that of the parent company. More importantly, in a ‘customer facing’ industry such as civil aviation, how staff respond to these management practices will have a crucial bearing on the success (or otherwise) of the airline. In this paper we assess the degree of decentralization of employment relations to subsidiary management at both airlines; we discern the management style towards flight crew at the low cost subsidiaries; and finally, we analyse the response of flight crew to the management style adopted.


Subject (Categories)

economic social