How Culture and Society Affect Crisis Management in Flight Operations

by | Mar 21, 2023 | 1 comment

Fostering Growth, Innovation, and Sustainability in Airline Operations

Flight operations and passenger crises are two parallel lines that must be managed effectively but separately. This means that, while a passenger crisis in flight operations cannot be completely avoided, it can be effectively managed to minimize the impact on passengers, regardless of the sincerity of the reasons for delay or cancellation. However, to effectively manage crises in flight operations, airlines must first understand the cultural and socioeconomic aspects that might influence crisis management. This might include adopting ways to adapt to varied communication styles that fit the culture and tradition of its customers, fostering trust and transparency with stakeholders, and designing crisis management plans adapted to the organization’s particular cultural and regulatory context. Refusal to plan for a crisis period in the airline business is a beautiful plan for failure.

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Culture and society may considerably influence crisis management in flight operations; consequently, every airline has a responsibility to safeguard its brand and guarantee that the brand image does not affect potential customer’s perceptions of the quality of its services. Regardless of the resources spent on establishing an airline, if crises are not successfully managed, the airline will fail in a highly competitive business environment.

Below are some ways that culture and society can affect crisis management in flight operations:


Different cultures have distinct communication styles, which can affect how crisis communication is perceived and comprehended. Direct and aggressive communication, for example, may be regarded as unpleasant or insulting in some cultures, while it may be recognized as important in others to get the information over fast and efficiently. As a result, researching a target market’s culture and civilization is unavoidable for effective crisis management in flight operations.

Hierarchical structures

Hierarchical structures can impact how crisis management decisions are made in flight operations. In some cultures, decision-making is highly centralized, with senior executives making quick and decisive decisions, but in others, decision-making is more democratic, with input from all levels of the company. Nevertheless, in flight operations, centralized decision-making is harmful to operational success since the airline industry is about making optimal use of time. For example, if the executive cannot be reached to settle a problem, a smart delegation of duties, responsibilities, and decision-making to lower-level managers will go a long way.

Trust and transparency

The degree of trust in different societies might influence the crisis management strategies to be adopted. In certain cultures, trust is strong, and individuals are more inclined to share information and collaborate to solve crises. Still, in others, trust is low, and people are more prone to hide information or act in their own self-interest. But nevertheless, in order for an airline to properly handle its crises, it must first establish a high degree of trust and openness within the organization; otherwise, all attempts to foster collaboration would be futile.

The regulatory environment

Various societies can have an influence on the legal and regulatory structures that regulate crisis management. Certain nations, for example, may have stricter safety requirements, which might affect how airlines and aviation authorities respond to emergencies. This has a huge impact on the sort of dispute resolution used by airlines while conducting business. As a result, before offering its services, an airline’s growth plan must involve a review of the regulatory environment in order to assure and enable a legal framework for conflict resolution.

Risk attitudes

Risk attitudes in different societies can influence how risks are viewed and managed. For example, in certain cultures, taking risks is considered desirable, but in others, prudence and risk avoidance are more highly prized. In airline operations, the ideal strategy to deal with a crisis is to prevent it proactively at all costs because it affects people’s lives and is very capital demanding. As a result, airlines must guarantee that their workers are highly trained in crisis management to guide them during crises.


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About the Author

Shadrach Swante Kambai

Flight Operations Consultant, Aviation Data Analyst, Business Developer (

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1 Comment

  1. Faith

    Thanks for sharing.


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