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In terms of environment, British Airways has a rather opaque policy and they have yet to implement measures which safeguard the well-being of the environment. Relative to the competition, the British operator strives to regain its strength through a merger with Iberia.
3. Recommendations for Improvement
Before presenting the recommendations for improving the operations management at British Airways, it is necessary to reveal some of the challenges presented by the modern day environment. This endeavor is necessary as the recommendations for improvement will be tailored to the need to satisfy the identified challenges. In this order of ideas, the difficulties raised by the current context include the following:
safety and security issues changing role of employees pollution, global warming and the general impact on the environment intensifying competition
Safety and Security
This threat has always been present within the airline industry, but never at levels as high as today. Flying used to be perceived as the safest means of transportation, but now, it is feared by many. This is generally due to the terrorist attacks of the past years. While the first thing that comes to mind is 9/11, Europe has also been a target of the Al-Qaeda terrorist, with attacks in London or Madrid terrorizing the nations. In this context, it is impending for British Airways to develop and implement more measures to ensure both employee as well as customer safety. The issue of employees' safety is also crucial in the meaning that people fear to do their jobs. Actions in the direction of increasing the levels of safety and security include the hiring of more guards, offering of specialized training, the introduction of the most advanced technologies in airport security, such as face recognition and scanning devices and so on.
It has already been mention that the managerial team at British Airways cherishes the input of their human resource. Nonetheless, they should never consider that they have done everything to satisfy and motivate the staff members. In other words, they should recognize the changing features of employees, on the one hand due to personal characteristics, and on the other hand due to environmental forces. In this context, the leaders at the UK airline company should continually strive to motivate their human resource. This could be achieved through the offering of more incentives, such as flexible working schedules, more training opportunities, promotion opportunities, employee empowerment and so on.
Impact on the environment
In this context of a growing threat of global warming, airline operators are perceived as great pollutants; which in fact they are (Solon, 2004). Given this situation, it would be useful for British Airways to invest more in research and development and as such sustain private and public efforts of developing and integrating fuel efficient engines, as well as discovering alternative sources of fuel. The European Union is already working on legislation to decrease the emissions of airplanes into the atmosphere, meaning that the ability of British Airways and other airline operators to work on high levels of pollution is going to suffer reductions (Airline Information Industry, 2005).
The final recommendation on how to improve operations management is that of organizing the internal processes in a means that helps the company set competitive advantages. This includes all three elements previously mentioned -- trained and skilled employees, focus on environmental health and emphasis on safety and security all generate customer satisfaction and create competitive advantages. Aside its already established strong competitors, British Airways should also recognize the threat posed by low-cost carriers. In this endeavor, it could be useful to introduce some low cost flights as well, in order to better serve the needs of the below average income population segment.
Boyd, C., 2003, Human Resource Management and Occupational Health and Safety, Routledge, ISBN 0415265908
Solon, D., June 4, 2007, Airlines Are Defending Their Record Over Pollution, the New York Times
2009, Official Website of British Airways, http://www.britishairways.com last accessed on October 30, 2009
2009, British Airways Plc., Hoovers, http://hoovers.com/british-airways/--ID__41761 -- /free-co-factsheet.xhtml last accessed on October 30, 2009
2008, Operations Management, the Ohio State University,…[continue]
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