Human Resource Management Practices in an Airline Industry: The British Airways Global Perspective

14 Pages Posted: 29 Jul 2013 Last revised: 30 Sep 2013

Date Written: July 12, 2013


This paper aims to highlight the management strategy of the British Airways to redirect its short, medium and long-term strategic plans along enhancement of its customer service through a rationalized recruitment, selection, training and promotion processes. British Airways is one of the largest, most progressive and quality-based airline in the world servicing primarily Europe and the North American continents. One of the strongest components of the airline is its human resource management practices, considered among the best practices in recruitment, selection, training and promotions systems. People look up to this system to generate one of the most intensive training modules in customer service.

The strength of the training program of the British Airways is the stringent standards required in the hiring processes, contributing to the distinct British Airways quality of customer service unequalled in the industry. However, this proves to be at great cost to the airline. Excellent training brings a better competitive edge of the human capital, but this triggers transfers to competitors with better offers.

Moreover, the British Airways need to look deeper in its pockets to subsidize the rising cost of training, development and promotions systems. However, the strategic direction in these areas will likely focus on the diversification of the pool of candidates among the most preferred feeder countries. This will provide relatively cheaper manpower but with equally strong character-based standards of qualifications. Searching can be expanded to other Commonwealth countries and host countries with flight reciprocities. Diversification is expected to gain benefits for the workforce and the company itself.

Hence, British Airways is in the thick of its journey towards its expanded existence through the human resources management strategy in an airline industry globally. Enhancing the human resource management processes is a road map towards this end.

Keywords: Human Resource Management, Airline Industry, Human Capital, Strategy, Practices, Strategic Plan

Suggested Citation

Bertillo, Julius B. and Salando, Josefina, Human Resource Management Practices in an Airline Industry: The British Airways Global Perspective (July 12, 2013). Available at SSRN: or

Josefina Salando

Oman College of Management and Technology ( email )

Barka, Sultanate of Oman
+968 91178694 (Phone)


No contact information is available for Julius B. Bertillo

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