Thesis: Delivering Value Improving Operations Management at British Airways PLC in the Current Economic Climate

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¶ … Value: Improving Operations Management at British Airways plc in the current economic climate

Delivering Value: Improving Operations Management at British Airways Plc. In the Current Economic Climate

The current business climate is extremely dynamic and challenging for the modern entrepreneur in the meaning that it presents him with numerous tests of strength and ability. And it could even be argued that all is due to globalization. The phenomenon allowed organizations to transcend national boundaries and expand their operations within the global climate. Nevertheless, it also translated into a rapid pace of development, and the adjacent necessity of keeping up, intensifying competition and many more challenges.

The modern day managers develop and employ a wide series of strategies in order to answer to these challenges. They focus more on customer satisfaction, on employee empowerment or on product and service quality. They also strive to enhance operations management. The element can be defined as the control exerted over the processes through which a product or service is created. Operations managers decide the type and quantity of "equipment, labor, tools, facilities, materials, energy and information [that] should go into an operating system and how these inputs can best be obtained and used to satisfy the requirements of the market place. Managers are also responsible for critical activities such as quality management and control, capacity planning, materials management, purchasing and scheduling" (the Ohio State University, 2008).

Despite its sustained success, airline leader British Airways must also adjust to the requirements of the current climate. This report strives to assess the company's operations management characteristics and propose some courses of action for improvement. Before achieving this goal however, it is necessary to become familiar with the entity.

2. British Airways Plc.

British Airways is the largest airline operator in the United Kingdom, possessing the largest fleet (approximately 240 aircrafts, mainly Boeing and Airbus) and operating the most flights -- it offers flights to an estimated 150 destinations in 75 countries; through extensions with other international operations, it can serve next to 500 destinations. At a continental level, it is topped by Lufthansa and Air France-KLM. As of middle 2008 however, British Airways has engaged in merger conversations with Spain's number one flight operator Iberia. For 2008, it registered revenues of $17,454.4 million and employed an estimated 45,140 individuals worldwide (Hoovers, 2009).

The company's operations management practices include a wide series of actions, but the ones to be hereby presented refer to the strategies they implement relative to safety and security, the staff members, the impact on the environment or the competitive efforts.

In terms of safety precautions, these have been significantly intensified after the London attacks. On the one hand, the airline operator decided to only offer international flights from the two safest airports in the UK capital -- Heathrow and Gatwick. Overseas flights from other airports were cancelled. British Airways spends an estimated $165 million each year on security, on activities such as: "screening of flying crew and ground staff; participation with government and airport screening of passengers and cabin baggage; extra hand baggage and customer searches at the gate; baggage and passenger reconciliation; security controls for cargo, courier material, mail and catering; searches and guarding of aircraft; 100% x-ray screening of checked baggage worldwide" and so on (Official Website of British Airways, 2009).

Relative to their human resource, the managerial team at British Airways has comprehended the role played by the employees and strives to increase their levels of on the job satisfaction. Former chairman, Sir Colin Marshall, stated: "In an industry like ours, where there are no production lines, people are our most important asset and everything depends on how they work as part of a team. This means, to get the best results, managers have to care about how they (the employees) live and function, not just about how they work and produce" (Boyd, 2003, p.67). The primordial means by which the company is striving to increase employee satisfaction and commitment to the organization refer to the creation of a pleasant working environment that values diversity and promotes equality, and the offering of training programs (Official Website of British Airways, 2009).

However not traditionally perceived as components of an operations management effort, the relationship with the environment and the… [END OF PREVIEW]

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APA Format

Delivering Value Improving Operations Management at British Airways PLC in the Current Economic Climate.  (2009, October 30).  Retrieved December 8, 2019, from

MLA Format

"Delivering Value Improving Operations Management at British Airways PLC in the Current Economic Climate."  30 October 2009.  Web.  8 December 2019. <>.

Chicago Format

"Delivering Value Improving Operations Management at British Airways PLC in the Current Economic Climate."  October 30, 2009.  Accessed December 8, 2019.